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Every idea has a thousand sources. For Daybreak, one important source was the story of the Icarians, a utopian group that emigrated to the United States in 1848. They bought land in Texas near what is now Denton; found that this site was utterly unsuitable; returned to New Orleans. From there, they acquired the town of Nauvoo, in Illinois; lived there until a split divided them into two group — one moved to St. Louis and the other to Corning, Iowa. The St. Louis group petered out during the Civil War, but the Iowa group continued, with an offshoot moving to California. After another split that divided the colony into two smaller groups, the last Icarians formally disbanded in 1898 — a fifty-year run. Were they a success or a failure? Depends on how you define “success,” I suppose.

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