Jan Bakker/Ruskin Commune Papers
This collection, the Jan Bakker/Ruskin Commune Papers, 1992-1993, contains two series, one of the 1992 copy of the manuscript itself (Marxism, Feminism, and Free Love, The Story of the Ruskin Commune by Jan Bakker and Francelia Butler) and the other of four letters and one envelope to and from Jan Bakker, Professor of English at Utah State University, and to and from W. Todd Groce of the East Tennessee Historical Society. There is a letter dated December 1992, two copies of one letter dated January 1993, and one dated December 1993.
The Ruskin Settlement Collection, 1893-1901, and The Ruskin Cooperative Association Papers in MS.0023 are also available on this topic.
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Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.
0.2 Linear Feet
This collection, the Jan Bakker/Ruskin Commune Papers, 1992-1993, contains the 1992 copy of the manuscript Marxism, Feminism, and Free Love, The Story of the Ruskin Commune by Jan Bakker and Francelia Butler, along with correspondence from Jan Bakker, Professor of English at Utah State University, and W. Todd Groce of the East Tennessee Historical Society.
The Ruskin Co-operative Association (RCA), named for English social critic John Ruskin, was active from 1893 to 1899 in Ruskin, Tenn., and from 1899 to 1901 in Ruskin, Ga. Apparently the first Marxist-influenced commune in the United States, the colony grew from the leadership of Isaac Broome and the efforts of Julius Wayland. Colonists grew their own food and alcohol was forbidden on the grounds. Members implemented the use of scrip money, several entrepreneurial ventures, and innovative educational practices. They produced and sold suspenders, natural chewing gum, and cereal coffee. An extensive library, frequent lectures, and performing arts events fostered education. The cooperative finally ended after two years of lawsuits between two factions over issues relating to ownership and control of the RCA.
Jan Bakker and Francelia Butler published A Study of the Socialist Commune at Ruskin, Tennessee in 2001. Bakker was a professor of English at Utah State University and holds a PhD from the University of Tennessee. He served as consulting editor to the journal Children's Literature and published the book Pastoral in Antebellum Southern Romance in 1989. Butler (1913-1998) wrote for the International Herald Tribune in Paris during the 1930s and taught English for 21 years at the University of Connecticut. She launched the International Peace Games Festival for elementary school teachers and children, founded the journal Children's Literature, and also published a book on skip-rope rhymes, entitled Skipping Around the World in 1989.
Collection consists of two folders divided into two series: Manuscript and Correspondence.
Jan Bakker donated this collection to the Special Collections Library in December of 1993.