Mansion House At Oneida Research Paper

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In one of his more popular ‘‘home-talks’’ to the regular eight o’clock nightly gathering in the Mansion House at Oneida, entitled ‘‘Liberty,’’ John Humphrey Noyes challenged the notion that freedom was a natural right of human beings. He found absurd the idea that any ‘‘sinner’’ was deserving of liberty, arguing that ‘‘perfect liberty,’’ entrance to ‘‘heaven itself,’’ could only be achieved by a select group, those who had their hearts ‘‘purged of all selfishness by Christ.’’ . The founder of Oneida was John Humphrey Noyes. His early years suggested eccentricity, if not total nonconformity. He was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1811. After a classical education at Dartmouth, he started to read for the law before breaking it off, dissatisfied. While studying for the ministry at Yale, he was attracted by the Wesleyan doctrine of Holiness, and so began to follow a group of New Haven theologians who called them-selves Perfectionists. Christian perfection, according to the Wesleyan tradition, did not mean a reversal of the fall, but rather a maturity in faith and an increasing love of God. Faith working outwardly through love resulted in an ever purer and more…show more content…
Male continence was part of the doctrines and Noyes experiment. The second half of the 1800 's saw the rise and fall of a surprisingly successful - and once notorious - social experiment. In 1848 the Oneida community commenced operations in upstate New York. It grew to 250 men and women before its conversion, in 1881, to a joint stock company that still operates today. Noyes, in addition to his religious justifications, invented the system of male continence, which involved the male sexual partner’s abstinence from reaching climax during intercourse, in large measure ‘‘in order to overcome the suffering which was then the common experience of women in childbirth.’’ As the Oneida leader he
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