27 Facts About Albert Brisbane


Albert Brisbane was an American utopian socialist and is remembered as the chief popularizer of the theories of Charles Fourier in the United States.


Albert Brisbane founded the Fourierist Society in New York in 1839 and backed several other phalanx communes in the 1840s and 1850s.


Albert Brisbane was born on August 22,1809, in Batavia, New York He was the son of Mary Stevens and James Brisbane, a wealthy landowner.


Albert Brisbane developed an affection for knowledge at an early age and as an inquisitive youth he learned various mechanical skills in the small carpentry, blacksmith, and saddle shops of Batavia.


Unsatisfied with the quality of education in Batavia and with visions of an illustrious future for his son, Albert Brisbane's father sent him to a boarding school in Long Island, New York at the age of fifteen.


Albert Brisbane made the acquaintance of a number of prominent European intellectuals and political figures during the course of his studies.


In Berlin, Albert Brisbane became interested in the ideas of socialism, becoming an advocate of the ideas of Henri de Saint-Simon.

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Albert Brisbane was very active with the promotion of Saint-Simon's ideas for a time, but became disaffected when the movement split between the followers of Barthelemy Enfantin and Amand Bazard and dropped out of the Saint-Simondian movement altogether.


In 1832 Albert Brisbane left for Paris, where he would stay two years studying Fourier's system, including obtaining direct tutelage from the 60-year-old theorist himself He made the acquaintance of other devotees of Fourier's ideas during this initial phase of the Fourierist movement.


Albert Brisbane accepted Fourier's ideas as a matter of faith, believing that the "social destiny of man" was an immutable force of nature; once the laws of this development were identified and publicized, he believed, the regeneration and transformation of the world would be rapid and effective.


Albert Brisbane argued that the remedy to society's ills lay in the adoption of more efficient forms of production, based upon the principle of harmony of the owners of capital and those employed by them.


Albert Brisbane did not envision the elimination of the role of the capitalist, but rather the regulation of distribution of the product of labor between capitalist and worker on a more equitable basis.


Albert Brisbane cast the adoption of Fourier's system in millennial terms, asserting that.


In 1889, the family returned to New York state, ostensibly so that Albert Brisbane could build a prototype of the vacuum oven which he had been attempting to perfect.


In 1833, Albert Brisbane returned from Europe with Adele LeBrun, who was alleged to be a countess.


One of these children was Charles Fourier Brisbane whom Albert brought back to the US from Europe in 1851.


In 1847, Albert began a relationship with Lodoiska Durand, the daughter of Jean Manesca who had divorced her previous husband in 1844, who was later ruled a common-law wife with whom he had three children: a boy who died as an infant, Flora Manesca Brisbane and Rosalia Brisbane, b 1851.


Later in life, Lodoiska, who never ceased to regard herself as Albert Brisbane's widow, referred to her five deceased children, in which she might have included Nina Durand b 1837.


In 1853, Albert Brisbane married Sarah White and they had five children:.


In 1877, eleven years after Sarah's death, Albert Brisbane married the 30 years younger Redelia Bates, who had been involved with the National Woman Suffrage Association.


The United States Census of 1850 indicates that Albert Brisbane was living in Bergen County, New Jersey with Lodoiska.


However, the Census of 1860 reports Albert Brisbane living in Westchester County, New York with Sarah.


Historians conclude that because of overlapping births of children in the two relationships and the corresponding census records, Albert Brisbane was simultaneously maintaining two separate households with each woman.


Together with Bates, Albert Brisbane again moved north to Richmond, Virginia early in the spring of the following year.


Albert Brisbane died in Richmond early in the morning on May 1,1890.

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Albert Brisbane's body was transported home to Western New York and where he was buried in the Batavia Cemetery in Batavia, alongside his parents and previous wife Sarah.


The Albert Brisbane material is housed in one archival box and includes biographical material, correspondence, microfilm of his diaries from the 1830s, and a 56-page autobiography dated London, 1881.