ONEIDA — The Madison County Historical Society will host author Anthony Wonderley for a discussion and signing of his book, “Oneida Utopia: A Community Searching for Human Happiness and Prosperity,” on Sunday, July 21, at 1 p.m.
The book details the rise and fall of the Oneida Community, a religious commune operating in the area from 1848 to 1881. Founded by John Humphrey Noyes, the group sought moral perfectionism and practiced a form of polygamy. The group’s ideals spread, with similar communes operating in New England by the 1870s. After its dissolution, the Oneida Community would form the basis for the Oneida Limited cutlery company, which continues to operate out of Sherrill.
Wonderley’s book argues that the commune and the company together comprise a century-long narrative of economic success, innovation, and altruism. Following the discussion, copies of the book will be available for purchase, and Wonderley will be available for signatures. Wonderley is the former curator at the Oneida Community Mansion House, the site of the now defunct commune’s headquarters. He has also authored books about local Native American tribes, especially their oral traditions.
The Madison County Historical Society is located at 435 Main St. There is no fee to attend. For more information call 315-363-4136, or visit mchs1900.org.