Johann Georg RappEmigration for Religious Reasons
Johann Georg Rapp (1757-1847), weaver from Iptingen, Oberamt Maulbronn, emigrated to North America in 1803. He was a religious separatist, strongly influenced by Pietism, who wanted to establish a community orientated on the first Christian communities.
About 500 to 700 supporters from Württemberg followed him to Pennsylvania in 1804. They founded the community "Harmony", which was based on common property and began to flourish soon. In 1815 Rapp sold this community and together with his supporters moved to Indiana where he founded his second community called "New Harmony". In 1824 Robert Owen, the Scottish socialist, bought New Harmony to realize his social utopia, while Rapp established a third settlement called "Economy" back in Pennsylvania. As the members of this community were not allowed to marry and to have children, the community became smaller and smaller and disintegrated soon after the death of its founder.
Article about Johann Georg Rapp in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Band 27, Leipzig 1888, p. 286-290.