The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940

LA REUNION: THE FRENCH COLONY IN DALLAS
COUNTY
Compiled by
ERMANCE V. E.JEBIAN
One day in the spring of 1855, the people of Dallas were
informed that a group of men and women from France were on
their way to make Dallas their home. On April 26, 1855, the
long-anticipated foreign party arrived. To this small band the
citizens of Dallas extended a hospitable greeting. The arrival of
this group was looked forward to with something of the feeling
people have when a circus comes to town. With expectancy, the
village took on the air of a holiday. The slowly drawn carts,
loaded with implements and household goods; the clattering of
wooden shoes on the board walks; the foreign dress; the cheerful,
bright, and smiling countenances, elated over the end of their
long and tiresome journey, and near approach to destination was
countered by a hospitable reception by a committee of the whole
town, exuberant that a foreign colony was settling in its midst.
The Frenchmen, however, did not tarry in the town, but crossed
the river, pushed on across the bottoms and camped that night
three miles beyond the Trinity, on top of what the people of
Dallas now call Cement City. Their camp became the site of
Reunion. They began work the next day.
This story of the old French colony is like a leaf out of a
romance. It was an attempt to establish communism or social
democracy in America. The peculiar school which the colonists
represented was that of Francis Charles Marie Fourier, who was
born in 1772. He held that society must be reconstructed on the
lines of cooperative industry. It must be divided into phalanxes,
each numbering 1,600 persons. Each group was to live in com-
mon, and cultivate an allotted portion of the soil. The houses
were to be built after a uniform plan. Agriculture was to be the
principal industry, but the groups into which the members were
divided might devote themselves to such occupations as were
most pleasing to them. It was not necessary to abolish private
property, nor was the privacy of family life impossible.
In 1834 Victor Considerant became a disciple of Fourier, and
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed July 13, 2014.