Today we recover a late-19th century American Christian anarcho-pacifist/voluntaryist tax resister from where he’d been buried in the sands of time. He first came to my notice in this New York Times editorial:
John Smith, Martyr
There should not be much heroic stuff in a John Smith. One would suppose that to bear a name which has long since ceased to have any individuality attached to it, would crush out all lofty aspirations which might have their germs in the native elements of a man’s character. Undoubtedly, there are many admirable men — peaceful, useful, and honorable citizens — who have been born to wear through life the name of John Smith. There was once a distinguished adventurer and warrior, Capt. John Smith, who was a brave man and a hero. But this was many years ago, and legions of John Smiths have lived since then. There are more than two hundred John Smiths in this City. To be John X. Smith, or John Washington Smith, is to be individualized and lifted above one’s fellow Smiths. But John Smith, or even John Brown Smith, seems a hopeless case. Nevertheless, John Brown Smith is a martyr, if not a hero. Possibly, it was his second name that saved John Brown Smith from commonplace mediocrity. If plain John Smith had been threatened with a Massachusetts Jail, if he did not pay his poll-tax, we may believe that he would have contemplated the name given to him in baptism, and meekly paid his $2. But, being John Brown Smith, he defied the Constitution and the laws and went to his dungeon.
Mr. Smith is, or was, a resident of Belchertown, Mass. He is an unnaturalized alien, but is liable, under the laws of the State, for a poll-tax, the law levying a tax on each male person over the age of 21 years. He does not choose to become a naturalized citizen; therefore, he cannot vote. As he does not vote, he has no representation in the Government. Accordingly, he refuses to pay his poll-tax, as this would be consenting to “taxation without representation,” and a surrender of a principle for which our revolutionary forefathers fought John Brown Smith’s forefathers. For John Brown Smith was born under the British flag. This is precisely the principle on which the famous Glastonbury sisters refused to pay any taxes in Connecticut so long as they were denied the right of suffrage. One of these ladies died, and the other was married; and then the law officers of Glastonbury had peace. But John Smith, of Belchertown, being to the last degree contumacious, was taken to the Northampton Jail, where he has now been in duress for nearly ten months. The Town of Belchertown is obliged by law to pay for his sustenance at the rate of $1.75 a week, which is certainly very cheap. The question of martyrdom in this case hinges on the board bill, for which the Town of Belchertown is liable. Some of the frugal tax-payers of Belchertown object to being assessed for their proportion of Smith’s weekly board bill. They think that they are the real martyrs, since they maintain in idleness a man who will not pay a poll-tax, the proceeds of which would scarcely suffice to pay the cost of maintaining him one week in Northampton Jail. Some nobler spirits, however, express their willingness to pay their share of the cost of Smith’s prison fare until the crack of doom, if Smith should hold out so long, in order that the majesty of the law shall be vindicated. Smith, on his part, exultingly declares that he is better housed and fed than a majority of the voters of Belchertown who are paying his board. This aspect of the case detracts somewhat from the heroism of the martyr to the poll-tax. Nevertheless, as Smith adds that he would rather spend the rest of his days in jail than give up the principle for which he is contending, we may concede that he is a real hero, unaffected by the mercenary considerations of his board bill.
Those queer people, the Massachusetts “Liberalists,” whose cardinal principle is disbelief in everything, have taken up the cause of John Smith. At a recent convention, held in Boston, they sent greeting to Smith, imprisoned in “the orthodox republican hell of Northampton.” With charming inconsistency, the Liberalists, who do not believe in any hell, give the name of that place (or state) to a jail in which the alleged suffering martyr confesses that he is well-fed and comfortably housed. But people who sneer at the religious faith of others, and who have none of their own, cannot be expected to be consistent. The Liberalists also said that Smith’s wisdom and courage “disclose a practical way to vanquish sanguinary forces without shedding innocent or vicious blood.” This is a trifle misty, as most of the utterances of progressive people are apt to be. But is must have been comsoling to the illustrious martyr lying in Northampton Jail, notwithstanding the fact that his common-sense, if he has any, must have told him that his present place of punishment, though “republican,” is very far from being “orthodox.”
The mistake that John Brown Smith makes is one which is quite common to “cranky” people. Childless men, before now, have demurred at paying a school-tax, on the ground that they were not represented in the public schools by children of their own. The law does not levy a school-tax on persons as parents, but as persons concerned in the moral and mental welfare of the community in which they live. A poll-tax is not levied on electors, but on persons described as males over the age of twenty-one years, although a man may not vote until his poll-tax is paid. In California a poll-tax is levied on every male inhabitant of the State, over the age of 21 and under 60 years of age, “except paupers, idiots, insane persons, and Indians not taxed.” This includes the Chinese, who are not only not naturalized citizens, but who cannot be. If John Smith, martyr, or any other martyr to the poll-tax, refuses to vote, it is his own fault if he is not represented in the Government. And his refusal to be naturalized carries with it a refusal to exercise the right of suffrage. John Chinaman’s case is much harder than John Smith’s. What would happen if “the Asiatic hordes,” as our Pacific fellow-citizens figuratively describe the Chinese, should suddenly decide that they would no longer be taxed without representation? John Chinaman, however, is not of the stuff from which martyrs and heroes are made. The only conspicuous martyr to the oppression of the law will remain in Northampton Jail as long as the voters of Belchertown will pay his board.
This was a follow-up to an article the Times published :
John Brown Smith’s Martyrdom
Content to Stay in Jail Rather Than Pay His Poll-Tax
Northampton, Mass., — The case of John Brown Smith, the Belchertown doctor who has been lying in jail here for nearly 10 months on account of his refusal to pay his poll-tax, is again brought into prominence by the renewed efforts to secure his release. Dr. Smith is a Canadian by birth, a middle-aged man, and for about three years a resident of Belchertown. He is an “odd stick” and has spent the best part of his life in aimless study and investigation. A vegetarian in theory and practice, he at first found prison fare rather disagreeable, but Sheriff Longley kindly adapted his fare to his rank, and he has since got along very comfortably. The Town of Belchertown has to pay at the rate of $1.75 a week for the Doctor’s support, making in all, thus far, about $70. Dr. Smith himself says, in regard to his case: “I am not a citizen of the United States, and consequently am taxed without representation, which is quite contrary to the genius of republican institutions. I believe in self-government through love, as against the old forms of government by force, and as a natural consequence cannot pay this tax without violating my conscientious convictions. I trust that the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers still have left enough of respect for a man’s honest convictions to provide a means of escape, so that he may possess those natural rights which belong to every inhabitant of earth to enjoy, including the liberty to breathe pure air without being taxed for it, especially in a case like mine, where the Collector refused to take the only kind of property I had been engaged in producing while a resident of Belchertown — my text-book on my improved method of shorthand. If nature qualifies a man to produce books, where is the justice in refusing them when offered, and then depriving him of his personal liberty?” Dr. Smith says he has been better housed and fed in the past year than the majority of the voters in Belchertown, who have been paying his board bills, and he is content to spend the rest of his days in jail rather than give up the principle for which he is contending.
A recent convention of Liberalists at Boston passed the following resolution, which has given Smith renewed determination and firmness in his purpose:
Resolved, That in suffering eight months’s imprisonment in the orthodox Republican hell of Northampton, rather than pay his taxes, John Brown Smith has shown discerning wisdom and invincible courage, which place him high among the world’s benefactors, and disclose a practical way to vanquish sanguinary forces without shedding innocent or vicious blood.
The voters of Belchertown, at their last town meeting, voted almost unanimously to keep Smith in jail, but Calvin Eaton, George B. Green, and a few others argue the foolishness of incurring such a needless bill of expense. Mr. Green has written a communication to a local paper, in which he strongly urges Smith’s release. His points are that Smith is not malicious in his offense against the law, but simply unwise; that the object sought by his imprisonment has been gained, namely, to discover whether a poll-tax is collectible, and to vindicate the law as well as to show its defects, and further confinement of one who is sincere in his principles, however unsound they may be, is persecution and unworthy an enlightened community in an enlightened age. Another town meeting will be held in a week or two to consider the matter further, but there is little reason to believe that a vote can be passed to release the obnoxious Smith.
In my hunt for more information about this interesting character, I found a (partial?) bibliography of his works, which included:
- The First Fonakigrafik Teacher (“A guide to a practical acquaintance with the literary style of the art of Phonachygraphy,” a variety of shorthand)
- The First Stenographic Teacher
- The Stenografik Teecher
- The Kirografik Teecher
- Marriage and Divorce: or, The Trial and Defence of John Carl Cheney
- He also edited the Kirographer and Stenographer
The book Fifty Years of Freethought says: “John Brown Smith went to jail in Northampton, Mass., for refusing to pay a poll tax of $2. He stuck it out for eleven Months, when a friend paid the tax and liberated him.”
The Ninth Annual Report of the Commissioners of Prisons of Massachusetts () mentions the case in passing:
A somewhat remarkable case of imprisonment for non-payment of taxes is found at this [Northampton] prison, and, to prevent injustice in similar cases, some legislation may be necessary. One John Brown Smith, a harmless fanatic on the subject of self-sovereignty, refused to pay his poll-tax in the town of Belchertown, and was arrested by the collector of taxes , and lodged in jail, where he has remained over eight months.
It remains to be seen whether this man was not deprived of his liberty without “due process of law;” and, if not, whether the punishment is not out of all proportion to the crime. Imprisonment for debt in this State was long since abolished, unless the creditor can show good cause for believing that the debtor is about to leave the State; and, even in that case, there should be a reasonable limit to the term of imprisonment. The town of Belchertown has held a town-meeting to consider the question of discharging Smith, and voted to hold him in prison. It may be a question for the Legislature to consider whether a town-meeting is the proper tribunal to decide as to the discharge or retention of a prisoner, and whether there should not be a limit to the term of imprisonment for non-payment of a poll-tax.
I want a T-shirt that reads “a harmless fanatic on the subject of self-sovereignty”! Might make for a good tombstone inscription, too.
John Brown Smith, of Belchertown, Mass., who has been imprisoned nearly a year for refusing to pay his poll-tax, has been released, his friends paying the tax and costs, amounting to $5.62, with the proviso that the town shall not sue him for board at the jail. The Northampton Journal says that the arrest was a case of outrageous persecution, he having been imprisoned “not so much because he refused to pay over his two-dollar bill to the Belchertown Collector as because of his radical views on our social system.” It says, moreover, that it has been proved that the poll-tax is not collectible in the same sense as an ordinary debt if the citizen chooses to resist its payment or if he has not the property with which to satisfy the Tax Collector.
As for these “radical views on our social system,” Smith wrote a pamphlet called The Brotherhood of Man: being an address to the anti-tax league and toiling millions of Earth, proposing a new form of social organization for human society while he was in prison.
It’s pretty groovy. Brown was clearly determined to be on the cutting edge of radical utopianism. We’ve got a society run by a benevolent class of the spiritually advanced, who are selected and guided by benevolent soul-readers communing clairvoyantly with the supermundane reality, and who alone shall be permitted to breed; the adoption of a universal language; a version of the labor theory of value; communal ownership of property; and a bunch of other stuff thrown into the mix. Of course there’s a new ordering of the years, with the publication of the manifesto marking the new Year 1. It’s pretty wild, and, as creepy utopian blueprints go, pretty creepy. Check this out:
Brotherhood of Man.
Anti-Tax League and Toiling Millions of Earth, Proposing a New Form of Social Organization for Human Society.
by John Brown Smith,
President of the Anti-Tax League, Author of the “Kirografik Teecher,” the “Stenografik Teecher,” etc.
The proposed Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man was developed while the author was incarcerated for a year in jail at Northampton, Massachusetts, for refusing to pay a poll tax because it was assessed in violation of his anti-force principles.
J.B. & E.G. Smith
To the Anti-Tax League and Toiling Millions of Earth. — Greeting:
Brothers and Sisters: By the “Word” report of the Third Annual Convention of the New England Anti-Tax League, which met in Science Hall, Boston, Mass.., , I learned that Scribe E. H. Heywood presented the following:
Resolved, That we applaud the rare heroism of Henry D. Thoreau, Benj. R. Tucker. John Wesley Pratt and John Brown Smith, who vindicated Anti-Tax faith by going to jail.
I feel like adding the following:
Resolved, That we applaud the rare heroism of Victoria C. Woodhull, Tennie Claflin, J. H. Blood, George Francis Train, E. H. Heywood, D. M. Bennett, Dennis Kearney, Leo Miller, Mattie Strickland, Josephine Chase, Seward Mitchell, John Carl Cheney, Henry Slade, S. S. Jones, Joseph Treat, Mrs. Annie Besant, Charles Bradlaugh, Lewis Parnell and his coadjutors, as well as a host of others in different parts of the world, who have suffered persecution, imprisonment or martyrdom for their principles in order that humanity might be aroused to the great truths of human liberty. To say nothing of the toiling millions of unknown silent martyrs to duty and unrequited toil that are found on every hand awaiting the millennial emancipation proclamation of universal brotherhood.
Please accept my heart-felt thanks for your appreciation of my humble efforts to vindicate Anti-Tax faith and anti-force principles by electing me President of the New England Anti-Tax League for . I accept with feelings of timidity, on account of the great depth of the social problems involved in establishing a new order of human society, which shall be based on the constitution of man and the universe, instead of upon the selfish principles of competition, force and individual aggrandizement which brings forth such corrupt fruits in the imperial, monarchial and republican institutions and governments of the world.
I only performed my duty in serving a year in Northampton jail, Massachusetts, in order to arouse the toiling millions of the world to the fact that they can organize a universal Brotherhood of Man, which shall be founded on universal love, wisdom, will, justice, charity, peace, equality, liberty. labor, honesty, frugality, temperance, unity, solidarity of common interests and duties, attraction and voluntaryism. I herewith submit for your consideration my proposed constitution of the Brotherhood of Man, which I first began developing in , in order to secure a form of social organization which should supercede the necessity for legal governments and laws of force, qnd subsequently I devoted much time to its perfection during the lonely hours, days, weeks and months of my imprisonment. It is the child of enslaved suffering to the existing order of force, brought forth to aid in the emancipation of the enslaved, suffering, toiling millions of earth. I keenly felt the loss of all I sought to embody in my practical ideal of the Brotherhood of Man, but do not assume that the proposed constitution in perfect in all its details.
I cannot refrain from reminding you that the cradle of liberty is in New England. The Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth, in New England; the first resistance to British custom house officials and custom laws was in Boston harbor, within hearing almost of your place of deliberations; then came the resistance in arms at Lexington and Bunker Hill, which are so near by; and would it not be fitting that the first organization of the Brotherhood of Man should bo proclaimed from the environments of liberty-loving Boston or New England? What time is more appropriate for the new progressive evolution and revolution than ?
The four leading planets of our solar system approach nearer to us than for nearly two thousand years to lend their presence in honor of the organization of a universal unity and solidarity of interests of the whole Brotherhood of Man. Let us unite and do them honor by adopting the new scientific social cycle of , which shall in time supercede the old world of force and , by giving us a new chronological cycle, as well as a new form of universal social organization which shall embrace the whole Brotherhood of Man.
I need not enter into an elaborate analysis of the old forms of imperialism, monarchialism or republicanism, to prove to your intuition and reason that they are only passing steps in the evolution of man. “By their fruits ye shall judge them;” and I must confess that a righteous judgment will decide that as they are founded on war, force or compulsoryism that they must of necessity be adapted to the primary states of human unfoldment. The hour has arrived when the fundamental basis of human society must be changed from the Force to the Love basis of evolution. The toiling millions of earth shall never enjoy the inalienable rights of life, liberty, that pursuit of happiness which embraces the enjoyment of the just fruits of their toil, and the undisputed possession of an equality of rights in all the productive forces of earth, until the right to compel obedience by force has been abandoned, and love adopted as the fundamental basis of social organization. Let us abandon Force and adopt Love at once!
Then, toiling millions of earth in every clime, let us unite on the principle of the universal spiritual and material kinship of man! Just as soon as we unite on this basis the old order of Force will be paralyzed, because you perform the productive labor of the world, and by the power of natural law, you possess the right and numerical power to give vitality to the just and equitable principles of the universal Brotherhood of Man.
The American Declaration of Independence enunciates the principle that all natural rights are inherent in the individual, and that all governments should be voluntary associations, instituted by the people and for the people. It follows logically that any person has an inalienable natural right to give allegiance to or withhold it from any voluntary or other association, called a government, whenever he has lost faith in the fundamental basis on which it is founded. As the foundations of all the governments of the world are based on force, it logically follows that all the inhabitants of the world who have progressively evoluted beyond the force basis of association have an inalienable natural right to voluntarily associate themselves together on the evolutionary plane of existence to which they have reached. Then, the right to organize on the basis of Christ-love, taught by the principle of the universal spiritual and material kinship of man is inherent in the self-sovreignty of the individual, and cannot rightly be denied to or taken from the individual by any power whatever. Let us organize, at once, the Brotherhood of Man, on these principles of nature and eternal justice!
Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
We, the people of the Earth, in order to form a perfect union, which shall establish human society on the eternal principle of the inalienable sovereignty of the individual, family, home, community, and brotherhood of man in their special spheres, and that associative voluntary principle of co-operation and communism, which recognizes Christ-love, attraction and brotherly and sisterly spiritual and material kinships as the bonds which cement us in one united Brotherhood of Man, founded on natural justice that will insure universal tranquility, provide for the common good, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, voluntary association, and an equality in the productive and other forces of nature to ourselves and our posterity while the globe is habitable for man, do ordain and establish this constitution for the Brotherhood of Man of the Earth.
Principles of Social Organization.
Article 1. Whereas, we believe that mankind, being possessors of souls and bodies, having a common spiritual and material kinship in all their past and future destiny, should be united in one universal individual co-operative communistic Brotherhood of Man, which shall recognize no barriers of caste, sex, condition, race, state, nativity, empire or other form of arbitrary sovereignty whatever. That the laws of nature, as manifested in the organization of man and the universe, are the only bonds which mankind require to cement them in a unity and solidarity of interests which shall be as impregnable as natural law, and enduring as long as the earth shall be adapted to the habitation of man.
Art. 2. Whereas, we believe that Christ-love is the highest principle in the universe. That it should be the central pivot in the social structure. That it teaches self-abnegation for the common good of all, as the only satisfactory evidence to the external senses that it has an actual existence in the living soul. That it is the fundamental basis of all union in the family, community, or brotherhood of man.
Art. 3. Whereas, we believe that Wisdom is the second highest principle in the universe. That it is our duty to humbly, patiently, sincerely and reverently seek to obtain it in all the avenues of science, as illustrated in the physical, mental, moral, spiritual or psychological phenomena of existence. That we recognize among the avenues of Wisdom none more conducive to the growth of spiritual character than that of mutual, loving criticism of each other, assisted by interior examination, and the penetrating clear-seeing eye of the Soul-Reader, skilled in the divine sciences of psvchometry, clairvoyance, or other suitable methods of character-reading. These are the legitimate safeguards of society, which stimulate us to grow in Wisdom, as well as enable us to avoid the breakers of selfishness, and undeveloped individual character.
Art. 4. Whereas, we believe that Will power is the third highest princfple — in fact, the great formator of nature when guided by Wisdom and impelled by Love. Christ-love represents the spiritual, Wisdom the intellectual and intuitional, and Will the physical and formative energy in the universe of which man is an epitome. The trinity of Will, Wisdom and Love unfolds all In every sphere of existence, and analogically gives a basis for tne reconstruction of society which shall be scientific and in harmony with man’s three-fold nature. By the cultivation of these three great eternal principles of the universe in harmonious balance, we can secure the beautiful unfoldment of the inner life of the soul, and give mankind a rational opportunity to reverence, adore, venerate and exalt the divine possibilities and actualities of this sublime trinity of nature, which manlfests itself to us in the pure caress, embrace, self-abnegation, or unselfish sacrifices of Christ-love, the outstretched hand of knowledge, the celestial Inspiration and phenomena of the inner life of the soul, the rhythmic unfoldment of spiritual conditions, as soul imparts to soul electrical flashes, warm waves of magnetic impulse and the thrilling vibrations of love, which arouse the hidden depths of the divine recesses of the inner-soul to a more transcendental activity that shows us the penetrating all-seeing power of Wisdom through the gentle soothing touches of the loving hand, the warm melting zephyrs of the torrid zone, the cold freezing chills of the polar north, the electric flashes of the lightning followed by the terrific roll of the thunder as it rises above the din of the falling, crashing rain, the rushing, frothing, foaming, leaping of Niagara on its way to the sea, the rushing, whirling, twisting of the tornado as it sweeps the prairie with accelerating speed until it rises into the clouds above the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the heaving roar of the billows as they rise in undulating gigantic waves to indicate the impulse and velocity of the raging, foaming, rolling storm on the ocean, or the rumbling, muttering, threatening, belching, smoking, shaking upheaval of the terrific earthquake, as it fills the valley with molten lava, sinks islands and continents in mid-ocean, or perchance elevates them above the sea. These grand, magnificent and sublime phenomena sink into insignificance when compared with the infinitude of phenomena of the countless solar systems of space; yet, Will energy propels the great whole guided by Wisdom and Love. We stand transfixed with the profoundest adoration akin to worship for these manifestations of the power of the trinity of the Will, Wisdom and Christ-love. Nothing, in the nomenclature of the mythological forms of religion of the night of time, teaches such venerable or adorable lessons in spiritual unfoldment as these simple phenomena, which are not only the key to all the religions of the ages, but the key which unlocks the very portals of the mysteries of the soul of nature itself, and teaches us the secrets of spiritual growth, which shall elevate, subdue, govern, and bless mankind with the celestial fires of invincible Christ-love for the coming eternity of eternity. A philosophy, in fact, which melts in the crucible of Christ-love the Wisdom of the universe and sends it forth with the invincible energy of eternal Will to spiritualize, unfold, equalize, unite and cement the whole race of man into one united associative and communistic brotherhood of man.
Art. 5. Whereas, we believe that, mankind possesses individually like fundamental soul and body elements. That the differences of individual character are the natural effect of diverse evolutionary experiences through bodies formed by unions of differentiated combinations of physical, mental, moral, and spiritual elements. This truth teaches mankind the great principle of human equality; and that time and experience will ultimately in the eternity of the future level all forms of caste through the spiritual unfoldment of human beings. That it is our highest duty to strive to spiritualize mankind, in order that Christ-love may be accepted as the common bond of union which combines in one united social family, with a common solidarity of associative or communistic interests, the whole brotherhood of man.
Art. 6 Whereas, we believe that absolute liberty of individual thought, word, and action is essential to human progression, because the sovereignty of the individual embraces the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in his own way, provided he does not infringe on the same natural rights of others. That it follows that voluntaryism, Christ-love, attraction or anti-force principles should be the bond of union in all individualism, co-operation, communism, or other forms of social unions of the brotherhood of man. And that force in the form of compulsoryism is inconsistent with man’s spiritual development, because it is contrary to that immortal principle of morals which teaches us to do to others as we would wish them to do to us under like circumstances. That the employment of force to compel obedience to the opinions or laws of others is brutalizing in all its tendencies, because it only appeals to the cowardly element of fear in man’s nature, and in consequence secures only the obedience of the physical, ignorant and selfish elements of the social structure. That we disapprove of the employment of physical force for the restraint of others, except in cases of dangerous mental or physical diseases; and for the cure or reclamation of all erring and diseased unfortunates we believe in using them as loving brothers and sisters, by surrounding them with the most elevating conditions of material, mental, moral and spiritual unfoldment, so that they may be stimulated in the weaker and restrained in the excessively developed elements of individual character, thereby abolishing the taking of human life either by war or the halter, or the entombing of brothers and sisters in sepulchres of cold, damp brick or stone to satisfy the revengeful feelings of the advocates of the brutalizing doctrine of punishment by force for erring or diseased brothers and sisters.
Art. 7. Whereas, we believe that the fact of being born on the earth gives every child of man an inalienable right to an equality of ownership in all the productive forces of nature, such as sunlight, air, water, minerals, land, and all productive or other forces of nature, as well as the past accumulations of genius, experience, knowledge, art and industry. The natural deduction from this great truth is, that the only defensible right that any person or combination of persons can claim to the forces of nature is the right of possession for necessary use — this is nature’s only legitimate title-deed that of right ought to be recognized. The productions of the man of right belong to the race, and the productions of the race of right belong to the man. Divergence from this natural justice is presumptive evidence of robbery, fraud, ignorance, selfishness or despotism on the part of the despoilers of industrial justice. The failure of some to labor and produce according to their ability is a poor excuse for the strong to combine and rob the poor, weak, ignorant and helpless children of earth of either their legitimate natural birthright or laborious productions. It is a libel on Divine Love, Wisdom and Will to assume that sound men and women will decline to be self-sustaining in an equitable form of society where Christ-love instead of competition and selfishness is the pivotal motive for individual action. The same consideration for the welfare of our brothers and sisters will prevent us from engaging in the use of anything whatever which tends to degrade our fellows, or which may be unnecessary for their elevation. We believe that a constant aspiration for the right, when prompted by a desire to love mankind, will best enable us to succeed, by lending an aid to all efforts for the common good, and for the right that far transcends the old order of competition.
Art. 8. Whereas, we believe industrial justice requires that all transactions between different individuals and communities should be conducted on a basis of equitable mutual exchange which shall recognize cost as being the limit of price, and the time required in production the equitable measure of value of all the productions of labor. The governing rule of natural justice in determining the cost and time values of all productions should be to place all healthful occupations on an equal basis, but all occupations which are deleterious to health and in consequence tend to shorten the average longevity of man should be graded on the principle of shortening the day’s labor in proportion to the average duration of the life of those who engage in such unhealthful business. The principle of adjusting the length of a day’s labor in different occupations so that the average duration of human life shall be as near as possible the same in all forms of labor is the natural foundation of a just form of social organization.
Section 1. The principles of spiritual and material kinships forbid the taking of interest or usury for loans, because it is our duty to assist the needy brothers and sisters of earth as far as our means will permit, without hope of gain, or material reward.
Sec. 2. Industrial justice requires that the exaltation of gold, silver, copper or other productions of labor, as arbitrary measures or standards of value, be abandoned as an infringement on the equitable and just rights of all other rejected productions of labor. The true monetary measure of value is baaed on the actual productions of labor. Mutual exchanges established for the exchange of productions will give all producers an opportunity to exchange productions at cost, while notes, checks, or bills representing the actual value of all productions received in the exchanges will give a universal commercial or financial system sufficient for the whole business of the world, which shall not be subject to financial monopolies, revulsions or panics, because it is based on actual production instead of upon arbitrary legal volumes of promises to pay, or legal tender currency monopoly. The practical application of a natural monetary system should be to abolish the non-producing classes of society who are not necessary to the common good, because money should be issued only to the producer instead of those who traffic with the labor of others. The producers of earth should control the markets and exchanges of the world, while those engaged in actual service in the commercial exchanges and other non-producing occupations should be the servants, but never the masters of the producing masses of the brotherhood of man.
Art. 9. Whereas, we believe that the laws of attraction and repulsion govern in the chemical, electrical, magnetic, physical, social, mental, moral, spiritual and psychological conditions of the universe, as well as in the evolution of human society: therefore, attraction should be the only bond of union recognized by the individual, family, community, or brotherhood of man, and it should be on the highest planes ot Christ-love, Wisdom and Will. Just in proportion as the union is founded on these three exalted planes of existence will it be perfect and devoid of repulsion. There may be unions on the planes of Will and Wisdom, but until the union has been consummated on the plane of celestial Love, it is imperfect and repelling, and may not prove enduring. Celestial Love is the only enduring basis for eternal union in all the relations of society. In addition, a just social organization based on Christ-love and attraction, can never rightly interfere with or restrict in any manner the liberty to do right of any human being who sincerely follows his inner-soul intuitions without interfering with the natural rights of others.
Section 1. In the selection of all servants, in all differences that may arise between members in the family, home, community, or brotherhood of man, the principle of settling such things by submitting their magnetism to a scientific Soul-Reader should be adopted with the reserve right of one appeal to another Soul-Reader. Or if both parties are agreed, in the case of differences only, they may be settled by reference to a third party, or through arbitration by the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice should decide all questions brought, by consent of both parties, before it.
Sec. 2. The Department of Natural Justice should consist of three flrst-class members versed in the laws of physical, social, mental, and spiritual evolution. They should employ a Soul-Reader to enable them to sift the evidence and motives of both sides in order to be able to give a just deciston. All cases should have the right of one appeal from the Department of Justice in the family, home, community or continental brotherhoods of man. The jurisdiction of the family, home, community or continental brotherhoods of man Departments of Justice should be for local questions only concerning their own sphere of interests. All general questions involving the rights of more than one family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man should be within jurisdiction of the Department of Justice of the brotherhood of man.
Sec. 3. The business of the brotherhood of man should be conducted so as to secure as much growth of the members in Will, Wisdom and Christlove as possible. As conducive to this end, each should work for all and all for each according to necessity, the judges in all cases being primarily the individual conscience, secondarily the Trustees, who should kindly prompt the tardy or unfaithful brother or sister, and if he does not agree with the requirements of the Trustees the matter shall at once be left to the decision of a Soul-Reader, or appeal may be taken to the Department of Justice. The governing principle of the Trustees and the Department of Justice should be to secure the greatest degree of comfort with as easy labor as possible to all, without distinction, to the end that truth may be exalted, and the members elevated to the most exalted standard of unfoldment in Will, Wisdom and Christ-love.
Art. 10. Whereas, we believe that only those who have become unfolded spiritually sufficiently to be able to live in harmony and peace in this form of society ought to be admitted as first-class members. That the Trustees of the Love, Wisdom and Will Bureaus of each individual, family, home, community or brotherhood of man should be selected from the first-class members, for their superior actual abilities and practical qualifications for the duties assigned them by a Soul-Header selected for the purpose, who should in every respect in every other way be deprived of a knowledge of who he is selecting. The selection should be made by submitting the magnetism of each member to the Soul-Reader. Should the selection prove unsatisfactory to any member, family, home, community or brotherhood of man, the Soul-Reader should carefully go over the work, and if the same are selected they should serve until the dissatisfied has a practical chance by experience to see if he is not mistaken; but if all cannot feel satisfied, after one year, either by the same or a new Soul-Reader, another selection should be made. In the selection of servants for the universal brotherhood of man the selection should be made from the best qualified first-class members for the duties required, by the Soul-Reader. The selection should be from tho most suitable and best qualified in the three departments of Love, Wisdom and Will.
Art. 11. Whereas, we believe that the spiritual and material kinship of brotherhood and sisterhood implied in man’s nature and common destiny makes it our duty to become organized into that form of industrial cooperation and communism which shall best promote the happiness of the whole race, as well as each member thereof; and that the best form of society for the unfoldment of mankind is, to have a common individual, family or community home, which shall be absolutely independent of all exterior power, thus being self-sovereign in the regulation of its own affairs. The self-sovereign individual is the primary element, the self-sovereign family, home or community is the secondary element, and the self-sovereign brotherhoods of man is the third element in the trinity of human society.
Section 1. The spiritual and material kinship of humanity implies thnt the inconveniences of a multitude of different languages is prejudicial to the exchange of physical, social, mental and spiritual thought between brothers and sisters of a common family, us well as a great waste of labor in mastering them. It should be the aim of the brotherhood of man to adopt a thorough, simple, practical and scientific universal language to be exclusively employed in all commercial exchanges between the continental brotherhoods of man. And in time the whole exchange business and social intercourse between the members of the brotherhood of man should be in one common universal language.
Art. 12. Whereas, we believe that the order of unfoldment in human beings is progressively through the principles of Will, Wisdom and Christ-love, therefore we recognize three distinct grades of evolutionary progress which gives three natural classes of members. The differences between members should be dependent alone on the actual progress of spiritual unfoldment. Each class of members are equal in their own individual spheres. Training, experience, education and conditions of spiritual unfoldment determine their respective grades. No one should be admitted to membership, or pass from a lower to a higher class, except their magnetism shall be submitted to the examination of a Soul-Reader to decide on their grade of unfoldment.
Section 1. The third class of members are those who have not progressed beyond the Will sphere of unfoldment. They should be entitled to the special educational and moral influences of their family, home or community, with the expectation that they shall work for it according to ability.
Sec. 2. The second class of members are those who have become unfolded through the Will and Wisdom classes and who desire to become unfolded in Christ-love. They are permitted to live with their home, family or community for the purpose of growth, but shall be expected to work for their family, home or community, according to ability.
Sec. 3. The first class of members are those who have become unfolded through the Will, Wisdom and Christ-love states of unfoldment.
Sec. 4. All executive servants of the brotherhood of man should be selected from the first-class members because they are full graduates in the three great schools of natural evolution. The second and third class should be treated in all respects as regards necessaries of life, etc., as the other members, and being in no respect different from them except that they shall have no voice in the management of the family, home, community or brotherhoods of man. Nor will they be permitted to put any accumulated property into any family, home or community, except as a loan without interest, to be refunded to them on a years’ notice should they fail to enter the first class, or wish to withdraw.
Sec. 5. Persons who believe in the principles of the brotherhood of man, but who from any reason cannot reside with their family, home or community, may be admitted to their proper class membership, provided they correspond once in three months with the family, home or community to which they belong.
Art. 13. Whereas, we believe that the members of the brotherhood of man should live as celibates in regard to marriage or parentage until they have become unfolded in the three grades of Will, Wisdom and Christ-love, thereby becoming fully prepared for the higher spiritual generation by growth into a completeness above the plane of physical, mental, moral or spiritual disease. To the end that the future progressive perfection of the race may be attained, we deem this law of spiritual evolution indispensable. Self-control is nowhere more needed than in spiritual generation; therefore, the members all ought to aspire and strive to reach this acme of the self-governed and spiritually unfolded members of the brotherhood of man. The generation of children that will not need regeneration requires that they be born under the exalted influence of celestial love. The married who can live together in self-control need not be separated; the use of the sexual department of our natures for generative purposes alone, we regard as the highest expression of use, but as the necessity of a full physical development has long been recognized, we believe it even more necessary that a full unfoldment in Wisdom and Love be attained before parentage should be consummated; therefore, the members ought to discountenance marriage or parentage except among first-class members who are presumably unfolded men and women in the three great principles of Will, Wisdom and Christ-love.
Art. 14. Whereas, we believe that it has been scientifically demonstrated that there is a supermundane or spirit life beyond the grave, and that the people of earth are constantly subject to visible or invisible power of supermundane origin, through the loving communion of spirits from the Summer-land. It is the duty of the members of the universal brotherhood of man to aspire constantly to be as unselfish as the holy spirits who teach elevating truths that appeal to our reason and purest inner intuitions. The universe is under the control and guidance of Supermundane Intelligence. To follow the guidance of reason and Superior Intelligence is the safest way to ensure the success of the brotherhood of man. For this purpose a chosen Soul-Reader should be always selected for intercommunication between the mundane and supermundane spheres of existence.
Section 1. We believe that the science of human life is founded on the laws of nature inherent in the human race. To attain the science of lifo we should cast aside all arbitrary and imaginary conceptions, and build squarely on an actual knowledge of the needs of human life in its individual and universal spheres. This science of life should recognize both the intuitional and practical observing methods as necessary to the symmetrical evolution of man’s whole nature. A natural and complete system of society will provide for the unfoldment of both the individual and universal life, so that abandonment, misfortune, fraud and selfishness are not possible. The members should carry on a regular system of charitable aid and inspection to promote the happiness of all in all the relations of society. For this purpose regular appointed committees should act under advisement and direction of the bureaus of the brotherhood of man.
The Brotherhood of Man.
Article 1. Therefore, we, the undersigned people of earth, are desirous of associating ourselves together for the purpose of establishing a new social order upon the fundamental basis set forth in this constitution of the Brotherhood of Man. We herewith, in the presence of the visible and invisible Will, Wisdom and Christ-love of the universe, do hereby establish the universal Brotherhood of Man upon the divine principles of nature.
Art. 2. Therefore, we hereby ordain that the duties of the Brotherhood of Man shall be of a general nature, such as exchanging the physical, social, mental and spiritual productions and necessities of life between the different individuals, families, homes, communities, and continental brotherhoods of man. Its duties are substantially that of a mutual exchange, between all the departments of production and knowledge of the human race. It shall control its own methods of exchange, travel, postal and all other means or methods of intercommunication and exchange of whatsoever nature. It shall have jurisdiction to purchase land, property, or other necessary means for the transaction of its business of mutual exchange.
Section 1. All property shall be owned by the Brotherhood of Man in common and paid for by the interested individuals, families, homes, and communities or continental brotherhoods of man, in accordance with the principle of voluntary contribution or assessment in proportion to the ability of each individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man, as may be determined from time to time by the decision of a Soul-Reader’s examination of the actual condition of each interested individual, family, home, community, or continental brotherhood of man.
Sec. 2. All servants of the Brotherhood of Man shall receive no wages or emoluments other than they would have received had they remained on duty with their respective families, homes or communities. The principle that the possession of natural ability and adaptation for any special service is nature’s decree that it should be used for the common good without hope of selfish emoluments, should govern all branches of service of the Brotherhood of Man. The whole business of the Brotherhood of Man shall be conducted on the most rigid principles of simplicity, unostentation, economy, honesty and justice consistent with thoroughness in all its departments.
Art. 3. Therefore, we hereby agree to be charitable at all times towards all who may conscientiously differ from us in opinion, belief, or action; and therefore agree to permit each member to be free to hold, or change to whatever religious, social, or other opinions or beliefs his conscience or interior light may unfold or dictate; and the individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhoods of man shall never make any restrictions or regulations interfering with the freedom or personal rights of any member, except where his actions conflict with the welfare or existence of the family, home, community or brotherhood of man. No person shall be expelled except by the unanimous voice of the Soul-Reader and first-class members; and in case of such summary proceedings they shall be under obligations to give him sufficient pecuniary means to board him for six months, or to find him another family, home or community which shall take him in as a member. No expulsion shall ever be made on account of the sickness, misfortune, or infirmity or difference of opinion of any member from the principles of the Brotherhood of Man. In case of persons who are unfolded spiritually to become first-class members, but who do not believe in all the principles of the Brotherhood of Man, they may be admitted to first-class memberships provided the Soul-Reader and first-class members of a family, home, community, or continental brotherhood of man are unanimously in favor of their admission.
Art. 4. Therefore, we hereby agree that the Trustees of the Brotherhood of Man shall have power to purchase or secure suitable lands and buildings in the central portion of each of the five continents of the earth, viz.: 1.—North America; 2.—South America; 3.—Aryan (Europe and Asia); 4.—Africa; 5.—Polynesia. At these central points the Trustees of the Brotherhoods of Man shall establish the general or central exchanges. They shall have power to establish branch exchanges in all the villages, towns, cities or communities of each continent as fast as their means and the individual, associative or communistic business of the world need exchanges. They shall have power to establish all necessary methods of postal, express, railroad, canal, river, ocean, or other means or methods of inter-communication and exchange needed for the business of the brotherhood of man as provided in this constitution. The central exchanges of each continent shall establish and regulate all the branch exchanges on each continent. All exchanges between continents shall be conducted on the equitable principles of the Brotherhood of Man. This applies to all exchanges between the different family, home, co-operative and communistic associations of the Brotherhood of Man; but in all exchanges with the outside world they shall be governed by existing rules of commerce as practiced by the outside business world.
Section 1. The selection of the site for the final business center of the North American continent shall be at the head of navigation on the Mississippi river. Minneapolis, Minnesota, shall be selected as the most central practicable point for the central exchange. The central points of exchange of each of the five continents shall be selected by the primary associations of the Brotherhood of Man in each continent. Such other temporary points for the central exchanges as may be necessary may be selected during the infancy of the Brotherhood of Man, as the judgment of the Trustees in each continent may decide, although no outlay for land or buildings for the central exchanges shall be expended at any other points than at the five business centers of the continents.
Sec. 2. All islands or other lands not embraced in the five continents of North America, South America, Aryan (Europe and Asia), Africa and Polynesia, shall be considered as part of these continents. They shall belong to or be considered as being part of the nearest continent to them, or the one to which they naturally seem to belong.
Art. 5. Therefore, we hereby agree that in the establishment and maintenance of the principles of the new social order of the Brotherhood of Han, that the members shall invariably use only love, reason and persuasion to disseminate their principles; and that wherever the principles of the order may conflict with the old-established laws or governments of the world, that we shall always endeavor through persuasion, appeals to reason, and by the use of the ballot, to change the old forms of society to that of the new social order. By working for the change of public opinion we best show our confidence in the ultimate triumph of our principles of love or anti-force, and in the ultimate spiritual elevation of humanity above the plane of brute force. The aims and principles of the order shall be to gradually outgrow the necessity for, and to secure the abolition through the voice and suffrage of the people, of all legal governments of force, and to rear in their place the common spiritual kinship and united solidarity of interests and duties which the Brotherhood of Man proclaims as the inalienable heritage of all. If resistance to unjust laws is deemed necessary it shall be negative and defensive only, and prompted by the pure motive that we are willing to suffer for our principles rather than to tamely submit without protest to unjust human laws, always looking forward to the time when our brothers of the world of force will not assume to be our judges of either law, duty, or form of social organization.
Art. 6. Therefore, we hereby agree that any individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man, organized on other principles than the brotherliood of man, may be admitted to the privileges of this communistic union, provided that they agree to reciprocate with us in all business exchanges, and pay the Brotherhood of Man their proper percentage of voluntary expenses which would fall to their share in case they were organized fully on this constitution and fundamental basis. The term privileges must never be construed as embracing the right to admit any individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man, to first-class membership, unless the chosen Soul-Reader and interested members are unanimously in favor of such admission.
Art. 7. Therefore, we hereby agree, in order to make our principles efficient, practical and orderly, to divide our duties and business in three Bureaus, viz.: 1. The Love Bureau. 2. The Wisdom Bureau. 3. The Will Bureau. The jurisdiction of each bureau shall be in all things pertaining to the principles, duties and business of its own special department of man’s nature. The three bureaus shall be subdivided into three departments each, as follows: viz.: The Love Bureau shall be subdivided into, 1. Department of Spiritual Science. 2. Department of Natural Justice. 3. Department of Health. The Wisdom Bureau shall be subdivided into, 1. Department of Mental and Social Science. 2. Department of Instruction. 3. Department of the Home. And the Will Bureau shall be subdivided into, 1. Department of Physical Science. 2. Department of Industry. 3. Department of Exchange.
Art. 8. Therefore, we hereby agree that the executive servants of the Brotherhood of Man, in each of the five continents, shall consist of three Trustees who shall be executive managers of the Love, Wisdom and Will Bureaus. A subordinate executive manager shall also be selected for each of the subdivided departments of Spiritual Science, Mental and Social Science, Physical Science, Natural Justice, Health, Instruction, The Home, Industry, and Exchange. The executive servants shall all continue their term of service in accordance with the principles of the Brotherhood of Man. Such other servants as Soul-Readers, Scribes, Agents, Laborers, Mechanics, etc., shall be taken from the respective individual members, families, homes, communities or continental brotherhoods of man, through the selection of the Soul-Header, as provided for in case of all servants in this constitution.
Section 1. The following servants have been selected for the first organization of the North American Brotherhood of Man, viz.: ——, Trustee of the Love Bureau; ——, Trustee of the Wisdom Bureau; ——, Trustee of the Will Bureau; ——, Scribe, and ——, Soul Header.
Art. 9. Therefore, we hereby agree that the three executive Trustees of each of the North American, South American, Aryan, (Europe and Asia), African and Polynesian Brotherhoods of Man, shall constitute a universal intercontinental board of arbitration to adjust all questions of differences between the inhabitants of the earth. All questions relative to intercontinental exchange shall be regulated by the mutual agreement or arbitration of the universal intercontinental board of arbitration; but questions of exchange in each continent shall be under the control of the Continental Brotherhoods of Man. In case of unsettled or controverted questions regarding the natural rights of individuals or associations, appeal may be taken by any interested person to the universal intercontinental board of arbitration. It shall conduct its business in all respects in accordance with and subject to the principles of the constitution of the Brotherhood of Man. Upon all extraordinary questions wherein the universal intercontinental board of arbitration cannot agree, they shall be submitted to and decided by an extraordinary universal intercontinental board of arbitration, consisting of the five boards of continental trustees and the subordinate managers of the nine departments of each of the five continental Brotherhoods of Man.
Art. 10. Therefore, we hereby agree that any person may become a member of any family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man, or the universal brotherhood of man, who signs and complies with their constitutions, and have the proper class assigned him by the Soul-Reader to which his development entitles him, provided in the case of individuals, families, homes and communities, that all the members are unanimous in favor of their admission.
Section 1. The following terms are hereby defined as meaning as follows: 1. Individual, family, home, are applied to designate members who believe in the sovereignty of the individual, family or home of the old order of society, or those communists who for any reason are non-residents of communities. 2. The terms, association, and community, are applied to cooperative or communistic associations. 3. The term Brotherhood of Man embraces all members, whether individuals, families, homes, communities or continental brotherhoods of man, as it is intended that it be universal enough to provide for the social needs of every member of the human family on earth.
Sec. 2. No individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man or brotherhood of man shall incur any debt or credit unless on condition that the payment thereof shall be made as soon as possible thereafter, and except by the unanimous consent of all its interested members.
Sec. 3. All contracts and other documents involving the pecuniary liability of any individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man, or the Brotherhood of Man, or changing their constitutions or previous business, shall be signed by the Board of Trustees and attested by the Scribe; and no other members shall be authorized to issue documents either for or against them.
Sec. 4. Any individual, family, home or community that has not enough first-class members, or that for any other reason has only one or more first-class members, may be admitted to the privileges and duties of a continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man. The business of these embryo families, homes or communities shall be transacted by their first-class member or members to all intents and purposes as though they had a full board of Trustees.
Sec. 5. No family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man, shall be dissolved or their constitutions repealed except upon the withdrawal of all the members; and their funds or property shall never be divided, but shall forever be used in common or held in trust by the Trustees for the objects specified in their constitutions and guaranteed by this Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
Art. 11. Therefore, we hereby agree and acknowledge this Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man as the basis upon which the North American Brotherhood of Man is hereby organized and established. And we further acknowledge this constitution as the terms of our connection with and membership of any family, home or community of the North American Brotherhood of Man, or of the Brotherhood of Man, that may exist; and we severally, for our heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, do agree and covenant with it and its members, and with one another, and with the present property holders and their successors, that neither we nor our heirs, executors, administrators nor assigns will ever bring any action at law or equity, or other process or proceeding whatsoever, against any family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man or Brotherhood of Man, or any of their branches, on or before entering the same, or at any subsequent time, nor make any claim or demand thereof, except that the members of the second and third classes may notify the proper Trustees of the time when their deposited loan may be wanted. We all agree to accept our lodging, clothing, food and other privileges of the family, home, community, continental brotherhood or the Brotherhood of Man, as a just equivalent for all money, property, labor or other assistance that, we severally have given any family, home, community, continental brotherhood or the Brotherhood of Man.
Section 1. No account of money, property or other things shall be kept between any family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man and its members. No account of money or property shall be kept of what any member may put into the common stock of any family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man. No money or property shall be refunded on the withdrawal of any member; but that the desire for change may be reasonably satisfied, the Trustees shall make all reasonable efforts to exchange members with other families, homes, communities, or continental brotherhoods of man, when for any reason it is desired on the part of any member; and that the principles of humanity as manifested through Christ-love may be exalted by each family, home, community and continental brotherhood of man of the Brotherhood of Man, at the discretion of the Trustees, with the approbation of the members, may give unto the withdrawing member such amounts of money, clothing, or other things, as the circumstances of the family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man will permit, or the individual’s action while a member make them feel that he deserves.
Sec. 2. It is hereby further agreed between the members of each family, home, community, or continental brotherhood of man of the Brotherhood of Man that on the death, or expulsion (for just cause) of any member of the family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man, or the Brotherhood of Man, shall be under no obligations to refund to any of his heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns all or any part of the property thus dedicated to the family, home, continental brotherhood of man or the brotherhood nf man.
Sec. 3. All the property of members shall belong to the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhood of man and the Brotherhood of Man, without reservation, in consideration of their membership. And any amounts which the members shall receive from any source and at any time, in consideration of their services or business transactions, shall be paid into the common fund of the Exchange Department of the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man or the Brotherhood of Man.
Sec. 4. All the members of the family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man or the Brotherhood of Man shall co-operate in providing for all their wants, by carrying on whatever business the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man or the Brotherhood of Man, shall, in their special and general spheres, engage in at any time. We shall give our labor and attention, according to our ability, for the benefit of both the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man or Brotherhood of Man, in accordance with their constitutions and the direction of their executive servants. In case it shall bo deemed necessary or expedient, for the time being, we will make temporary engagements with others; but all such services shall be freely given in the interests of the family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man or the Brotherhood of Man, and for the benefit of the whole human race.
Sec. 6. The homestead of any individual, family, home, continental brotherhoods of man of the Brotherhood of Man, including all the land and the improvements thereon, up to one hundred and sixty acres, and as many more acres as there are men, women and children belonging to any individual, family, home or community, shall not be sold, exchanged nor disposed of in any way, except with the consent of and on conditions agreed to by all the interested members. The property of the continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man shall not be sold or disposed of except with the unanimous consent of the membership of the interested unions.
Sec. 6. It is hereby agreed that each individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhood of man of the Brotherhood of Man, shall, as soon as their financial condition will warrant the expense, engage to assist the Brotherhood of Man in the publication of a paper to be called the Banner of Love, which shall be an exponent of the Spiritual and Love philosophies of the new cycle.
Art. 12. Therefore, we hereby agree to obey the constitutions of the individual, family, home, community or continental brotherhoods of man and the Brotherhood of Man, and all their executive servants, while they are endeavoring to support, protect, defend or propagate the principles, or while they are supporting, protecting or defending the persons or property of the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man, or the Brotherhood of Man.
Section 1. Any individual, family, home, community or brotherhood of man that shall refuse or neglect to observe this agreement may be either suspended or their privileges restricted during such unbrotherly or unsisterly behavior; but they shall forfeit their membership in case only of a personal withdrawal from the service of the family, home, community, brotherhoods of man, or Brotherhood of Man, or for positive and continued refusal to comply with the just demands and regulations of the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man, or Brotherhood of Man, to the extent of jeopardizing their existence, peace, prosperity and happiness, as expressed by the unanimous voice of the Soul-Reader and first-class members.
Sec. 2. Any amendment or addition to the constitutions of either individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man, or the Brotherhood of Man, may be made at any time through the unanimous consent of the Interested members. All agreements for change of constitutions must be submitted in writing, and all the interested members signing their names to an agreement thereto.
Sec. 3. We, the undersigned, members of the Brotherhood of Man, severally and collectively agree to freely sacrifice, without mental or other reservation, all there is of us, and all that we individually or collectively possess, to the end that the objects of the Brotherhood of Man may be attained. We give, whilst upon earth, all the fruits of our toil, and whatsoever we may in any way receive, to cause the objects of the constitutions of the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man and Brotherhood of Man to be accomplished, and to do what we believe it will be necessary that we may dwell together as one united universal family of brothers and sisters in the bonds of celestial Will, Wisdom and Love. To carry out into a practical reality our ideal aspirations, we believe it shall be necessary for us to dwell together in common unitary or communistic families, homes, communities, continental brotherhoods of man, and one united universal Brotherhood of Man on earth, as proclaimed in the divine principles of nature and organization of man.
Sec. 4. Any executive servant of the order, such as Trustee, Department Manager, Scribe, Soul-Reader, etc., shall be competent to administer an affirmation.
Sec. 5. The following solemn promise shall be administered to every servant of the Brotherhood of Man before entering on the duties of his respective service for the individual, family, home, community, continental brotherhoods of man, or Brotherhood of Man, viz.:
I, ——, in the presence of the holy spirits and Supreme Intelligence of the universe, hereby solemnly promise, that I will perform the duties of service imposed on a —— by the —— of the continent of North America, and Brotherhood of Man of Earth, to the best of my ability. I shall faithfully support the constitutions of all social organizations subject to the Brotherhood of Man on earth. I shall perform the service required of me in the discharge of my duties without hope of selfish gain or reward other than the approbation of my conscience, to the end that the common good of the race may be promoted by faithful service on my part. (Signed) ——
Affirmed before ——
Dated at ——
In witness whereef we hereby sign our names, at ——, —— county, State of —, this — day of —, Anno Conjunctto ——, or A.D. ——
Constitution of the Loveland Community.
I. Whereas, we believe that the principles of the universal spiritual and material kinship of mankind, as proclaimed in the Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man, are self-evident truths, to which we can sincerely give our unqualified assent. And having a desire to organize into one united band of brothers and sisters who work for each and all without distinction to the end of our common destiny, we now proclaim our desire to unite with the new social order of the Brotherhood of Man on Earth.
Article 1. Therefore, we, whose names are annexed, hereby unite and organize ourselves under the name of the Loveland Community, and severally agree to sacrifice all there is of us, and all that we individually or collectively possess, to the end that the objects of the constitution of the Brotherhood of Man may be attained. We give whilst upon earth all the fruits of our toil and whatever we may in any way receive localise this object to be accomplished, and to do what we believe tt will be necessary that we may dwell together as brothers and sisters in the common community home of the Loveland Community. We agree to adopt, defend, protect and obey the constitutions of the North American Brotherhood of Man and the Brotherhood of Man on Earth, as well as to reverence the eternal fundamental principles of nature on which they are founded, and to the end that they may become a vital, living form of social organization, we, in the presence of the holy spirits and the eternal God principles of Love, Wisdom and Will in the universe and our own souls, do now organize and establish this constitution of the Loveland Community, which we shall obey, support and defend, if need be, with our life, toil, property, and thought, in accordance with the principles enunciated in the constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
Art. 2. Therefore, we hereby agree to have selected by a scientific psychometrist, clairvoyant, or other suitable Soul-Reader, the following servants from the first-class members to carry out the constitutions of the Loveland Community, the North American Brotherhood of Man, or the Brotherhood of Man on Earth, viz.: 1. Three Trustees for the three Bureaus who, by virtue of their duties, shall be in fact and trust the executive servants of the community, as well as the holders and guardians of all property of the community. Each Trustee shall be executive manager of the three departments of his respective bureau, unless the community in general assembly will decide to have a manager appointed for each subordinate department.
Section 1. All servants shall perform service until dissatisfaction shall be expressed by any member, and if again selected by the Soul-Reader, they shall hold the position for another year, or until another selection is made by the same or another Soul-Reader, as provided in the constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
Sec. 2. A Soul-Reader, Scribe, and such other servants as physician, artist, instructors, etc., as the community may need from time to time, shall be chosen by the Soul-Reader, as directed in the constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
Art. 3. Therefore, we hereby agree, that the business of the Loveland Community shall be floriculture, horticulture, agriculture, mining, publication of books and newspapers, and for the general manufacture, sale and exchange of such implements, commodities, or other necessities of life and health as the members may decide upon from time to time, as well as for a general commercial exchange business, such as the constitutions of the Loveland Community, the North American Brotherhood of Man and the Brotherhood of Man on Earth may demand for the successful perpetuation of their existence or for the conduct of their business in their own way.
Section 1. The Loveland Community shall locate its homestead and business in — —, —— county, State of ——, continent of North America, with such other branches as they may from time to time organize in this or other States, or continents.
Sec. 2. The Soul-Header elected by the Loveland Community has selected the following servants in order to perfect and establish the primary organization of the community, viz.: ——, Trustee of the Love Bureau; ——, Trustee of the Wisdom Bureau; ——, Trustee of the Will Bureau; ——, Scribe; and ——, Soul-Reader.
Sec. 3. The three Trustees of the Loveland Community shall constitute aboard of advisement in all affairs of the community. In case of difference of opinion each Trustee shall direct his own Bureau, according to the principles of the continental brotherhood of man or the Brotherhood of Man, until the question of difference has been referred to a Soul-Reader and board of arbitration.
Art. 4. Therefore, we, the undersigned, first, second and third-class members of the Loveland Community, hereby agree to obey this constitution and its executive servants.
In witness whereof, we hereby sign our names, at ——, —— county, State of ——, and continent of North America, this —— day of ——, Anno Conjunctio ——, or A. D. ——
Brotherhood of Man Lyceum.
- Whereas, we believe that mankind have a common spiritual and material kinship in all their past and future destiny, and that all knowledge is the result of thought, and all progress is the result of thought expressed in action — hence thought expressed in action is the great law of natural evolution.
- Therefore, we, the undersigned, hereby organize Brotherhood of Man Lyceum, No ——, at ——, State of ——, for the purpose of securing absolute freedom of thought and action on all questions connected with the science of individual and universal life, as expressed in the principles of Will, Wisdom and Christ-love.
- Therefore, we hereby adopt the natural method of instruction in all Lyceums which we may organize. The natural method is to avoid all forcing processes of individual unfoldment. When the child or man first has a desire or thought to master any idea, thought, principle, fact, science or philosophy of the universe, he is ready for such unfoldment. The force of suggestion born of the example of others is the only natural stimulus to thought and notion. This method of evolution assumes that oral, object, experimental and theatrical action is essential to well-balanced growth in the spiritual, social, moral and physical departments of man’s nature, and that error is an inevitable necessity in the evolution of all finite beings, because the most valuable experiences of life are attained by avoiding the errors of others or of ourselves.
- The principle of mutual criticism in the spirit of brotherly and sisterly love shall be the only method used to secure the self-control and government of the members in their expression of thought and action.
- All expression of thought and action shall be absolutely impersonal. No subject shall ever be forbidden discussion or theatrical action in any Lyceum, provided the speaker or actor uses scientific terms in its elucidation or demonstration. Each member shall alone be held responsible to criticism for his own individual thought or action in the Lyceum. No voting shall ever be used to decide which side has the weight of evidence, as the truth will come home to each mind more readily if the combativeness of opposing parties is not aroused. The object being to not influence the private judgment of the audience by the influence of party combinations, as truth is above all party lines or ties of union.
- The Lyceum shall take especial pains to encourage the attendance of both sexos at all Its meetings, as well as to stimulate all to take an active part in the expression of thought. The highest degree of harmony can only be attained in this way.
- Any member who refuses or neglects repeatedly to profit by criticism of his method of expression or manner of action, or who loses his self-control at any meeting, shall be considered expelled until he makes due apology, and is again invited by the unanimous voice of the Lyceum to resume his membership.
- The expression of thought and action shall be limited to five minutes on any subject chosen by the speaker or actor. Only members shall be permitted to speak or act, and no member shall speak or act more than once at the same meeting, unless by the unanimous consent of all the members prusont.
- The natural or kindergarten method of instruction shall be applied as far as possible to the education of every person, from infancy to old age. Life on earth Is a great school or lyceum of thought and action which should never end while life lasts. The term Lyceum is used in its most comprehensive sense, as being a school of thought and action — hence it embraces sermons, lectures, concerts, dances, sociables, circles, theatrical performances, picnics, scientific experiments, demonstrations or exhibitions of whatever character belonging to the science of human life.
- The Kindergarten Lyceum, for children under seven years of age, shall meet every morning. The Children’s Lyceum, for children from seven to fourteen years of age, shall meet twice each day. The Young People’s Lyceum shall meet twice a day for those from fourteen to twenty-one years of age. The Scientific Lyceum shall meet twice a day for those from twenty-one to twenty-five years of age.
- The Brotherhood of Man Lyceum shall meet every Saturday evening for the discussion of all questions pertaining to the science of life. This meeting shall be for the general diffusion of knowledge on all subjects. On Sunday this Lyceum shall have one or more spiritual, moral, or religious lectures or theatrical plays which tend to disseminate a knowledge of or elevation of man’s moral, spiritual or religious nature.
- At 10 o’clock every Sunday morning all the Lyceums shall meet in a Union Lyceum. Part of the exercises shall be with the members placed under the charge of instructors in separate classes and rooms, where any branch of study may be pursued, as chosen by them. The object being to furnish instruction suitable to the age, taste and capacity of every person who may attend. The older members may employ their time in the discussion of the practical or other problems of the day. As the day is made for man instead of man for the day, it will be right to acquire any knowledge, whatever may be its character.
- The servants of any Lyceum shall consist of an Instructor, Treasurer, and Scribe, who shall be selected by a psychometrist, clairvoyant or other competent Soul-Reader. They shall perform service until other servants are selected as directed in the Constitution of the Brotherhood of Man.
- Any person may become a member of any Lyceum by signing this agreement and paying —— cents per month into the Treasury of the Lyceum. But only persons who have become unfolded in the principles of Will, Wisdom and Love will be permitted to be instructors or servants of the Lyceum.
- No member shall be permitted to speak or act at any meeting of a Lyceum who is in arrears with his monthly dues, unless he is too poor to pay them. This applies to Lyceums where no communities exist.
- Farmers’, Mechanics’, Exchange, Health, or any kind of lyceum or sociable may be organized on these principles and hold meetings during week-day evenings.
- At all regular meetings of any Lyceum it shall be right and proper to transact any business which may come before it except for the change or amendment of this contitution.
- All amendments to this Constitution must be submitted in writing: and signed by every member of the Lyceum before it can be considered and adopted at any meeting. Only first-class members shall have a voice in the adoption of this constitution.
In witness whereof, we hereby append our names, at ——, State of ——, this —— day of ——, ——
The Basic Principles of Natural Justice.
Justice is the intermediate balance which weighs and adjusts all relations of the atoms, bodies and souls of the universe; and is the natural center of chemical, psychological, magnetic, electrical and spiritual force, because all hinge-like radiations of force must swing on the pivot of natural law. which is Justice incarnated. All the error which ever has existed in the past or which shall ever have existence in the future is caused through ignorance of the basic foundations of justice as determined by the fixed laws of material and spiritual evolution. A knowledge of these evolutionary laws is all that mankind need in order to live as near right as possible in all the relations of individual and universal life. To discover all the laws of material and spiritual evolution and weave them into one universal brotherhood of human association for the guidance of humanity is all that should ever be attempted in the way of social science. All attempts to force others to obey our conceptions of human association is in violation of the polar laws of justice which are inherent in the soul of the universe.
It is self-evident that the right to own a thing did not not exist when mankind came on this planet, as my friend John Thomas, of Virginia, would say. The creation of individual ownership is then in defiance of the basic laws of natural justice. The principle of ownership is the cause of all desire in the human heart to become possessors of property — then Proudhon is the voice of Justice when he says that “property is robbery.” Ownership of property is theft; and it creates the motive for all the stealing on this earth. Abolish ownership and you take away both the temptation and crime of theft, because where there is no desire for ownership there can be no desire to steal the products of the labor of others, as justice requires each to be sustained by his own thought and action, giving and receiving equally with all, according to ability. Ownership degenerates into actual possession for necessary use when weighed in the scales of justice.
All usury, rents, tithes, profits and taxes are based on the principle of ownership, because failure to pay them is followed by distraint and sale, which means a change of ownership; therefore, such things are only polite names for public robbery, which the voice of natural justice pronounces a fraud on humanity. Abolish all compulsory taxes, etc., and all the governments, laws, associations and corporations of earth will fall as mushrooms before the scythe of natural justice. Let the toiling millions of earth unite and pay by voluntary assessment or contribution to the Brotherhood of Man, their taxes, etc., for even one year, and the evolution and revolution of human society will become an accomplished fact which the combined selfishness and competion of the world of force will be powerless to resist.
Then, the eternal law of justice is the pivot on which the eternal laws of nature revolve and swing the universal life inherent in the eternal universal whole truth to meet the demands and supplies of evolution, according to the methods of individual and universal life inherent in the eternal universe. Justice being eternal and unchangeable as the laws of nature, the only duty of every person is to pursue the path of material and spiritual knowledge until the infinite mutations of evolution are mastered. From this pinnacle of unfoldment it will be discovered that whatever is is right because life is a school in which error is as essential as right to the comprehension of their mutual relations. Thus we now perceive that conscience is only a finite judge of truth and error; it is a very fickle guide because it deals in beliefs which of necessity change with the ever-changing evolutions of character. Nature has evolutionary laws based on justice, which will ultimately lead all, without the intervention of arbitrary Gods, laws, or governments of force to that unity of unfoldment which knows that all things are necessary in the plan of the universe — as the planet becomes spiritualized, the law of natural justice will become more apparent to all.
As justice is fixed in the constitution of the universe, it is self-evident that conscience must be assisted by prescience in the shape of psychometry, clairvoyance and inspiration from the supermundane world of intelligence because an absolute knowledge of universal science can never otherwise be reached on earth. Science always follows in the footsteps of prescience, who is the soul-reader of nature. While there can only be one law of right based on perfect justice, yet, conscience is our best judge of the infinite gradations of relative and comparative right which exist between error and absolute right — hence this evolutionary gradation of right from the finite to the infinite is necessary to the very idea of progress, and therefore is a complete demonstration that whatever is is right to a relative but not to an absolute law of justice.
Natural justice is devoid of eror [sic], but all systems of human justice are imperfect, and the attempt to create crime, prohibition, punishment or banishment is in violation of natural justice, as it carries its own compensation to all evil doers. There can be no crime against imperfect law, because error cannot sin against error; and crimes against natural law carry their own penalty within the soul of man.
This standard of Justice will abolish all arbitrary standards of prostitution. Sin and prostitution cannot be created by imperfect human law as that would be simply prostitution denouncing its own child. But all perversions of natural law are prostitutions of natural justice, whether they are legal or illegal according to man’s laws. The Brotherhood of Man should rely on an absolute free press to criticise and expound the fundamentals of natural law and justice, and crime, prostitution and sin will vanish as the dew does before the morning sun.
Justice, when viewed from the standpoint of evolution, sustains the reasoning advanced. Let us briefly examine it from that point of observation, viz.:
The term evolution means a constant unrolling or unfolding — the spiral spring is emblematic of the stairway of evolution. When the elements of a solar system are gathered together by the superintending Will and Intelligence who has charge of its formation, it is self-evident that the atomic elements are diffused or expanded over the entire space to be occupied by the embryo solar system. The next step implied is contraction or condensation — hence, attraction and repulsion are the basic laws of evolution. Motion, force or will-power are different terms for the infinite cause of all unfoldment. This gives us Intelligent Will-power or force as the motive power of things — hence, it is the lever of progress. The reformation of Martin Luther and others was instituted to establish the principle of Free-Will in religion; it is self-evident that it is as essential in the mental, social and physical domain of thought and action; without it the idea of progress and evolution is impossible, and to deny it to man in any relation of life is to interfere with natural justice and evolution.
The infinite mutations of the atomic elements of a solar system implies a constant growth from the lowest material to the highest spiritual conditions — hence planets and suns are continually becoming more refined as they unfold. The living beings who inhabit planets, by the force of this law of progress, are impelled forward whether they desire it or not. Free-will agency is limited by the fixed laws of nature. To assume to control and govern man’s will by any system of imperial, monarchial or republican government is arbitrary and injurious to his most rapid spiritual growth, because the will of man should be absolutely unfettered in reaching out to the voice of intuition within the soul. The law of progress which induces eternal unrolling from the gross or material to the refined or spiritual is the true foundation for a system of human society founded on that natural Justice which recognizes prescience as the judge of the best executive servants of the Brotherhood of Man.
The forces of the universe not only conspire to uphold justice, but they in like manner combine to secure the ultimate preponderance of the highest development of every principle in nature. The philosophy of this great harmony is explainable only on the assumption that the wheel of evolution revolves on the hub of justice, while the spokes are inherent eternal principles of nature rooted in justice but expanding and radiating between the lowest and highest polar extremes of progression. Every principle of nature or conception of thought has two extremes — the vibrations of force or will energy between the down and up extremes gives an infinite gradation of evolutionary experiences. Thus love and hate, benevolence and acquisitiveness, health and disease, heat and cold, life and death, attraction and repulsion, action and inaction, mentality and idiocy, thought and thoughtlessness, morality and immorality, spirituality and materiality, wakefulness and sleepfulness, excitability and tranquility, energy and indolence, growth and decay, liberty and slavery, justice and injustice or selfishness, and good and evil, etc., are practical illustrations of this duality. Hence the ultimate triumph of evolution is sure to unite mankind in one universal brotherhood which shall be sustained by the inexhaustible vitality of the forces of Will, Wisdom and Love of the universe, because its persistent energy is as irrepressible as eternity, and it always conquers even in seeming defeat, and lives on forever and forever after apparent death.
It is self evident that the problem of social organization must be solved by erecting a system of association, co-operation and communism, which shall be founded on the nature of man. Anthropological science must be used to expound man’s needs, rights and methods of combination; but anthropology and the fixed laws of nature must of necessity be measured by the standard of justice discovered in the soul of man and the universe.
Anthropology teaches that man is an epitome of the universe. He is a model of co-operation and sympathy in his own organization. Every fibre or group of fibres of his brain is an organ which is capable of expressing a different vibration of thought force; but for convenience, Phrenology has made from one hundred to one hundred and fifty divisions, for the expression of all gradations of thought from the finite to the infinite. In this great unity of differentiations, specific organs modify the modes of action in all other organs in accordance with the laws of mutual influence between the organs. But every organ has an antagonistic organ, producing opposite effects — character is hence the result of the equilibrium of action between opposing organs. Then the spheres of human action are carried forward by one hemisphere co-operating with a given organ while the other hemisphere remains antagonistic. Sarcognomy teaches that each organ of the brain is in direct sympathy with its corresponding organ in the body, and hence the cause of sympathy between brain and body in health and disease is the direct product of law.
Physiognomy teaches the location of the facial and corporeal organs which determine the general character as indicated in the form and expression of the brain and body. Physiology teaches the laws of health, disease, life, death, sleeping, waking, respiration, coloriflcation, circulation, secretion, and the various normal and abnormal states of the viscera and physical constitution. Psyschology teaches the science and laws of the soul, or intelligence within the man. It demonstrates that one mind can control both the mind and body of another under proper conditions. Statuvolism, or the state of the will, teaches that will-power is the motive power of the universe, and it demonstrates that man’s will can produce the somnambulic or trance state at will and suspend the action of the nerves of sensation and motion at will. Spiritualism demonstrates that the soul of man lives beyond the grave, and that it is possible for man’s spirit to return and communicate the secrets of the supermundane world of intelligence to aid in the elevation of humanity. Psychometry teaches through the nerves of sensation the inner history and character of every atom of matter and individual soul in the universe. Sociology, or universal brotherhood, is founded on kinship and the great law of sympathy. The greater part of human history and government is an ilustration of the law of sympathy and reaction — or attraction and repulsion. No science of human society can be founded on the basic principles of natural justice which ignores the science of Anthropology — evolution from the material to the spiritual conditions of existence.
The Brotherhood of Man.
Tune — “Duke Street.”
[The first four verses were selected and adapted from the English cooperative farmers’ song of , as published in the Communist — the other four verses are original.]
- The coming Brotherhood of Man
Alone can bless both great and small;
And Nature, in her generous plan,
Has taught us each must live for all.
- Why should a difference of birth.
Of creed or country, men divide?
Behold the flowers of the earth,
Though various, blooming side by side.
- Man, poor and feeble when alone —
The sport of every passing wind —
In faith, in trade, in art has shown
He’s all-resistless when combined.
- If, then, when faith or interests plead,
Sustaining crowds together press,
Why should not love and justice lead
Mankind to join for happiness?
- We’ve human kinship now to teach
And guide us all through coming time;
If one and all will live for each
’Twill join mankind in every dime.
- With wisdom, justice, will in hand.
Attend to all life’s duties here;
A happy, working, goodly band
Keep marching for a higher sphere.
- We know that brotherhood will save
The toiling men of every race;
In thought and action be so brave
You’ll dare to take the manly place.
- Then cast aside the law of force
That binds the human slave in chains;
Let love and nature take its course,
That all may sing in joyful strains.
May Jupiter, the planet of Justice, and the Sun, the planet of Love, inspire all to recognize the necessity for a new form of social organization at their coming perihelia, on the . May love and justice be the corner stone of the new structure!
John Brown Smith,
President New England Anti-Tax League.
Redwood Falls, Minnesota, .
Clearly, putting this guy in jail for his principles so that he could work out the fine details of his utopia was like throwing Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Smith was the only member of his Loveland Community, and of his North American Brotherhood of Man, and of his Brotherhood of Man Lyceum.
The History of the Minnesota Valley gives a little more biographical information about Smith:
Dr. John Brown Smith was born , in Canada. When seventeen years old he came to Minnesota and lived in different parts of the state until enlisting, , in Company G, 10th Minnesota; was mustered out in . His regiment was stationed at Mankato when the Indians were executed, and also assisted in removing the sixteen hundred to the Black Hills. After the war he returned to Le Sueur county, and afterward lived in Northfield and St. Paul. He gave much attention to the study of medicine while in St. Paul, and in company with Dr. Deering started a help institute and a bath-room. He went east and attended medical lectures and also published medical books and papers in New York and Massachusetts. While in the latter state was confined one year in the Northampton jail for refusing to pay poll tax; and while in jail, he in company with other prisoners, published a paper called “Innocence at Home.” In , he came to Redwood Falls, and has since given his attention to writing and publishing. Married at Northfield, Minnesota, in , Ellen H. Goodel who graduated in medicine at New York city. They have one child, Lindsay G.
There’s a brief bio of Dr. Goodell, Smith’s wife, in a 1960 history of Belchertown: “In , she married Dr. John Brown Smith in Minnesota. The couple established the first sanitarium and Turkish Bath in St. Paul. She went on to work in several health institutes in New England, the Midwest and California. For more than 40 years Dr. Smith lectured and wrote on health and temperance. She returned to the old homestead in and continued to write. Her books ‘The Art of Living’ had a large following here and abroad. She also wrote ‘The Fat of the Land and How to Live on it’ in the fall of . She argued for vegetarianism and a healthy life style. At the age of 71, she died in from a fall.”