See study by E. Magdol (1967).
See biography by his grandson R. S. Owen (1894, repr. 1970).
In 1800, Owen moved to New Lanark, Scotland, where he had bought, with others, the mills of David Dale (whose daughter he married). There he reconstructed the community into a model industrial town with good housing and sanitation, nonprofit stores, schools, and excellent working conditions. Mill profits increased. The New Lanark experiment became famous in England and abroad, and Owen's ideas spread. He instigated the reform that resulted in the passage of the Factory Act of 1819—a watered down version of his proposals, but still a landmark in social reform. He also proposed the formation of self-sufficient cooperative agricultural-industrial communities. One such community, called New Harmony, was established (1825) in Indiana but failed after numerous disagreements among its members.
Professing a disbelief in religion (1817) and calling for the transformation of society rather than its reform (1820), Owen gradually lost much of his former upper-class support but was embraced by the working classes. After his return (1829) from the United States he became involved in the trade union movement and advocated the merging of unions with cooperative societies. Soon, however, the government took repressive action, and many workers responded by proclaiming the need for class struggle. Believing in the peaceful reordering of society, Owen ended his association with trade unionism and spent the last 25 years of his life writing and lecturing on his beliefs on education, marriage, and religion. Throughout his life Owen based his social programs on the idea that individual character is molded by environment and can be improved in a society based upon cooperation. Chief among his extensive writings are New View of Society; or, Essays on the Formation of Character (3 vol., 1813-14), Report to the County of Lanark (1821), and his autobiography (1857-58, repr. 1970).
See biographies by F. Podmore (1907, repr. 1971), G. D. H. Cole (3d ed. 1966), R. H. Harvey (1949), and M. I. Cole (1953, repr. 1969); studies by A. Morton (1962); J. Butts, ed. (1971), and R. G. Garnett (1973).
Owen later became active in Indiana and U.S. politics. As a member of Congress (1843-47) he was instrumental in the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. When the Indiana constitution was revised in 1850, Owen secured an extension of property rights for married women and state provision for public schools. He served (1853-58) as U.S. minister to Naples, where he became a spiritualist. After his return to the United States he strongly advocated the emancipation of slaves and helped investigate the condition of the freedmen. His writings include An Outline of the System of Education at New Lanark (1824), Hints on Public Architecture (1849), The Wrong of Slavery (1864), The Debatable Land between This World and the Next (1872), a novel, a play, and numerous pamphlets.
See the autobiography of his early years, Threading My Way (1874); biographies by R. W. Leopold (1940, repr. 1969) and E. Pancoast and A. E. Lincoln (1940).
See his collected poems (1931, 1963, and 1973); collected letters, ed. by his brother, Harold, and J. Bell (1967); biography by A. Orrmont (1972); study by G. M. White (1969).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.61%) is water.
There were 412 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,368, and the median income for a family was $37,955. Males had a median income of $27,431 versus $20,547 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,981. About 9.4% of families and 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.