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The Road From Harmony


The Harmony Society dissolved in 1905—one hundred years after its founding, and one hundred twenty years after Georg Rapp first drew a following in Germany. In 1992 an effort was made to compile a directory of its membership, including some demographic information; it was published as George Rapp’s Disciples, Pioneers, and Heirs: A Register of the Harmonists in America. Sadly, the work is incomplete and contains errors. This author has undertaken a revision, based on information from a variety of public and private records and a review of documents in the Harmonist archives.

In the amended edition, the Demographic Directory of the Harmony Society 1805-1905, the membership is classified in several different ways, enabling a reader to detect patterns. This article addresses patterns and trends in the section, “Secession,” wherein Harmonists are listed by date of departure, with ages noted. The author subdivides her observations according to epochs of Society history, constructing profiles of seceding classes, and analyzing them for differences. The purpose is to enable the reader to observe the ebb and flow of secession as the Society evolved.

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