March of Mind (1828)

The March of Mind

BRUTES are governed by fear. MAN should be governed by reason.

 Prospectus: The March of Mind . . . . will be devoted, principally, to the two great subjects of Theology and Politics. Under the head of Theology, it will be open for everything relating to the good and evil it has produced, or is likely to produce in the world; its probable truth or falsehood, in any and every form; its influence upon the happiness of mankind; and also, any substitute, which any Philanthropist may feel disposed to offer in lieu of revealed religion. Under the head of politics, any communication will be received which relates to the policy of our general and state governments; their abuses, defects, and improvement; also, any theory which may be proposed to supersede our present system. In a word, this paper will be devoted to free inquiry on every subject which has relation to improving the condition of mankind, and averting the evils they now suffer.

Examined: 1:1 (May 10, 1828), 1:3-7 (June 7-Aug. 2, 1828), 1:9 (Sept. 13, 1828).

Editor: Daniel Roe.

Publication Information: Cincinnati, Ohio.

Frequency: Biweekly.

Contributors: A Gentile, Cincinnatus, Howard, Julius, Rambler, and A.W. Sweeny.

Subjects/Features: Monopoly of Land, Equitable Commerce, Poems, Silk Cultivation, Summary of Domestic and Foreign News,

Extracts from: Voltaire, History of the Jews.

Periodical Reprints from: New Harmony Gazette (New Harmony, Ind.), and The Correspondent (New York).


The Movement

Editor. “Mental Independence.” 1:1 (May 10, 1828): 13-14. The editor suggests that Robert Owen’s declaration of mental independence, two years ago, “has done more to unshackle the minds of hundreds from the thralldom of superstition, and the dogmas of opinion, than any event, since the general introduction of letters.”

“To the Patrons of “The March of Mind.”” 1:1 (May 10, 1828): 22. “The editor cannot deny himself, the first opportunity, of tendering his most grateful acknowledgements, for the liberal support, which has thus far been tendered to his novel undertaking. And, although, the present number of his subscribers will do but little, if any more, than defray the expense of printing his paper, he is compelled to look on the patronage offered to a work, so unique, and so liberal in character, as a flattering mark of personal regard; and also, as affording striking evidence of a state of mental freedom, which is truly characteristic of the age.”

Abram Combe. “An Atheist.” 1:9 (Sept. 13, 1828): 150-51. Extracts from An Address to the Conductors of the Periodical Press, Upon the Causes of Religious and Political Disputes (1823). Combe contends that an atheist “Is an individual, who, from consideration of the difficulty of believing, that a Being, distinct from nature, could exist, in space, alone, for an eternity, and then create a boundless universe, out of nothing, declares himself compelled to believe, that the universe is eternal and indestructible, and that God is the power, that animates, and regulates, the whole, or the Great All in All.”

“Growing Intelligence.” 1:9 (Sept. 13, 1828): 152. The author remarks that “No fuller demonstration can be afforded, that the American people at least, may be reclaimed from superstition, and become enlightened and happy, than the crowded audiences which this devoted philanthropist [Francis Wright] has obtained amongst us, during her entire visit to the city. A few more fearless, intelligent and active spirits in the field, and the victory over ignorance and superstition is secured. Indeed, it only needs the continuance of those who are already devoted to the cause, and ultimate success is certain.”



Letter to the editor from Julius. 1:3 (June 7, 1828): 46-47. The author remarks, “Among children at a Sunday School, or with women at a prayer meeting, or before any ignorant, mute or overawed assembly, a priest, like a peacock in a barn-yard, may appear of some consequence, and show himself off to advantage; but he shrinks from the society and conversation of liberal and enlightened men, who would be likely to call the truth of his doctrines in question.”

R.O. “Of the Fear of God.” 1:6 (July 19, 1828): 99-102. Reprinted from the New Harmony Gazette. Owen asserts that “Love and fear exist not together; whom we truly love we cannot fear; whom we fear we cannot truly love.- Choose then! Let deity appear to us as a being of goodness and of mercy, the Creator of a world of brightness and beauty, who breathes the fragrance of spring, and showers upon us the bounties of autumn- and we may love him: or sketch to us a being, mighty and terrible, speaking in the wintry storm, or from the summer thunder-cloud, angry and threatening and punishing- and him we may fear. But do not tell us that these Beings are one and the same.”

Religion and Morality

“False Reasoning.” 1:7 (Aug. 7, 1828): 105-07. The article begins, “If Christians have reasoned at all on the consequences of infidelity, they certainly have reasoned falsely, when they are brought to the conclusion, that the general spread of infidelity would be the general spread of evil.”

Religion and Science

“The Study of Man.” 1:9 (Sept. 13, 1828): 141-43. The author observes, “Take wood from the forest, or stone from the quarry and you can build ten thousand varieties of houses, shops, factories, &c, in as many different forms, and for as many different uses. Thus matter, under a law of intelligence, is taken in its natural forms, and made to assume those so various by art. This operation is analogous to that, by which matter under its own laws, which are superior to any intellect yet known, assumes so many millions of forms as are found around us.”

Land and Labor

Editor. “Monopoly of Land.” 1:1-6, 8 (May 10-July 19, Aug. 16, 1828): 10-12, 25-27, 41-43, 61-64, 73-76, 89-90, 128-30. The editor observes that land monopoly “has existed so long, and has become so interwoven with all the affairs of both church and state, that many persons will be found inclined to justify it, by something like divine authority.”

Editor. “Labor for Labor.” 1:1-5 (May 10-July 6, 1828): 14-16, 33-35, 48-50, 59-61, 76-77. The author begins from the premise that “any system of exchange, which operates to claim from one individual the results of using any greater length of time, for the results of any less, is manifestly unjust.”


“The Bible of Nature.” 1:1 (May 10, 1828): 23-24. A poem, which concludes, “This Book of Nature is to me,/ Most ample, clear, and bright;/ ‘Tis always open, always free,/ Whoever has eyes its sense must see; All read alike, and all agree;/ It needs not faith but sight!”

 Accession Numbers: 14707617.