Alphadelphia Association Records: 1844-1857
Summary Information
Title: Alphadelphia Association Records
Creator: Alphadelphia Association.
Dates: 1844-1857
Extent: 3 microfilms
Communitarian society located near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Constitution, census, membership records, reports of committees, labor records, financial accounts, minutes of directors, correspondence and miscellaneous papers.
Call number: 93838 mf 232c;233c;234c
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The record group is on deposit from James Buckley and his heirs (donor no. 3391) and came to the library in 1958.

Access Restrictions:

The record group is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Alternate Format:

The Bentley Library is also the repository for the originals of this record group

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Alphadelphia Association Records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Alphadelphia was a communitarian society, located near Kalamazoo, Michigan, and established in 1843. The association founded on the principles set forth by French socialist Charles Fourier which combined a belief in the possibilities of scientific evolution and social progress and the sense that ridding the world of evil would inaugurate a "reign of Social Harmony" that would hasten, according to the members of such groups as Alphadelphia, the coming millennium or the thousand year reign of Christ on earth.

The constitution for Alphadelphia was drawn up in December 1843 by a small group of individuals from various Michigan counties. These same selected members for a site committee to search out a suitable location for their home. Some partially cultivated acreage in Kalamazoo County seemed ideal for their purposes. The land was cut across by the Kalamazoo River and close-by the anticipated completion of the Michigan Central Railroad tracks. Those who owned land on the site were encouraged to join the organization.

In the spring of 1844 a barracks for living quarters was built. There would also soon be a saw mill for the timber on the land, a blacksmith shop, and a printing office. From this latter office, the Alphadelphia members printed the Alphadelphia Tocsin and a journal, the Primitive Expounder.

Alphadelphia lasted but four years and really flourished only for one year until 1845. Some members left because of poor economic conditions and their sense that they could better themselves elsewhere. Internal dissensions also tore at the organization with charges of mismanagement and the shortage of cash to do business and to pay taxes. Alphadelphia ceased functioning, according to their records, in 1848.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The record group consists of organizing documents, correspondence, land and labor records, financial records, and membership records.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Cooperative societies -- Michigan.
  • Galesburg (Mich.)
  • Kalamazoo County (Mich.)
  • Cridland, Charles R.
  • Keith, Harvey.
  • Noyes, James.
  • Schettlerly, Henry R.
  • Tubbs, Lyman.
  • Alphadelphia Association.
  • Denton, Samuel, 1803-1860.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Organizing records [series]
Roll   1  
Report of site-selection committee December 27, 1843
Roll   1  

(printed copies of the constitution will be found in Primitive Expounder)

(original, typescript and fragments)
Roll   1  
Roll of original members March 1844 and membership census, March 1845 1844-1845
Roll   1  
Articles of agreement and deed to domain
Correspondence [series]
Roll   1  
December 1843-June 1844
Roll   1  
July-December 1844
Roll   1  
January-May 1845
Roll   1  
June-December 1845
Other records [series]
Roll   1  
Reports of the General Council 1845 (second), 1846 (third)
Roll   1  
Reports of committees 1843-1844
Roll   1  
Reports of Council of Arbitration 1844-1846
Roll   1  
Proposals for membership 1844, undated
Roll   1  
Agreements to leave
Roll   1  
Appraisals of property
Roll   1  
Supplementary agreements between members and Association on certain items of property
Roll   1  
Labor record books (with names and types of employment)
Roll   2  
Building of mansion
Roll   2  
Alphadelphia Tocsin, vol. 1, no. 1; Friday December 6, 1844
Roll   2  
Tocsin subscription lists and accounts
Roll   2  
Stock holdings
Roll   2  
Stock certificates, A-Z (4 folders)
Roll   2  
Orders (to pay) on the council
Roll   2  
Receipts 1844-1846, undated
Roll   2  
Treasurer's reports
Bills allowed
Roll   2  
Roll   2  
Roll   3  
Bills 1844-1846
Roll   3  
Miscellaneous accounts
Roll   3  
Miscellaneous papers
Bound volumes
Roll   3  
Record book 1843-1844
Roll   3  
Account book July 23, 1844-May 2, 1848
Roll   3  
Record of labor performed 1844-1845
Roll   3  
Ledger 1844-1845
Roll   3  
Day book July 23, 1844-April 30, 1848
Roll   3  
Stock book 1844-1845