Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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EVANS, George Henry, reformer, born in Bromyard, Herefordshire, England, 25 March 1805; died in Granville, New Jersey, 2 February 1855. He came to this country with his father and brother in 1820, and was one of the earliest landreformers in the United States, adopting views similar to those since held by Henry George. Among the reforms for which he labored were the destruction of the U. S. bank, innumerable homesteads, the transportation of the mails on Sundays, a limitation in the right of any person to hold lands, general bankrupt laws, and laborers' liens. He also favored the abolition of slavery, of laws for collecting debts, and of imprisonment for debt. He edited and published "The Man," at Ithaca, New York, about 1822; the " Working Man's Advocate," in New York, in 1830 ; " The Daily Sentinel," in 1837; and " Young America," in New York and Rahway, New Jersey, in 1853.His brother, Frederick William, reformer, born in Bromyard, England, 9 June 1808, spent his boyhood on a farm of 500 acres at Chadwick Hall, near Worcester.
He says: "My maps were the landscape of hills and valleys; my books, trees and plants; my teachers, the servants, and their masters and mistresses. I graduated, and immigrated to America in 1820. Then I taught myself how to read, and began the study of history. I learned how to think, observe, and reason upon theology and the social and governmental organization of mankind, until I became a materialist, a socialist, a landreformer, and an infidel to all the popular Church and state religions of christendora."
On his arrival in New York his father apprenticed him to a hatter, and it was in the intervals of his work that he thus educated himself. After traveling on foot to the west, then on rafts and boats down the Mississippi to New Orleans, he made a short visit to England, and on his return joined the Shakers at Mount Lebanon, New York, on 3 June 1830. He was appointed assistant elder in the "North Family " in 1838, and in 1858 became first elder of three " families." He has invented a simple method of warming the rooms of the community uniformly. Elder Evans has lectured frequently, has contributed to seventy different publications, and in 1873'5 edited and published, with Antoinette Doolittle, a periodical entitled "The Shaker and Shakeress." His teachings have considerably modified the dogmas of his sect. He has published " Compendium of Principles, Rules, Doctrines, and Government of Shakers," with biographies of Ann Lee and others" (New York, 1.859); "Autobiography of a Shaker " and "Tests of Illvine Revelation " (1869); "Shaker Communism " (London, 1.871); "Religious Communism," a lecture delivered in St. George's hall, London (1872); and "Second Appearing of Christ" (1873).
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