Joel Nydahl (essay date 1981)
SOURCE: “Early Fictional Futures: Utopia, 1798-1864,” in America as Utopia, edited by Kenneth M. Roemer, Burt Franklin & Company, 1981, pp. 254-91.
[In the following essay, Nydahl surveys the utopian vision expressed in American fictional works of the late eighteenth century.]
The earliest utopian visions in and of America were of millennial expectations fulfilled: Columbus saw on the shores of the New World a stage upon which would be acted out Saint John's great prophetic drama; John Winthrop's “Citty on a Hill” was to be a society of godly men waiting for, and working to bring about, the final apocalyptic defeat of the forces of Satan; John Eliot's...
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