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<<  -- 2 --  Gordon Rumson    UTOPIAN IDEALS


Now musicians are not known for their practicality, and frequently offer suggestions of Utopian ideals. Liszt had some such suggestions for music, Anton Rubinstein built his into the heart of Russian culture, Godowsky planned a school and Gunnar Johansen proposed the Leonardo Academy.

But Bull decided that the burdens of his Norwegian fellow citizens would be eased by transporting them to upper Pennsylvania for a new world settlement that he would plan and fund. Certainly he offered much, paid a great deal and spent a considerable time organizing. People came from Norway on an arduous, and in some cases terrifying, voyage, vividly described here. The settlement was built, trees felled and then -- failure. Bull could not keep up payments, the land was not ideal for farming, and in what seems absurd, the settlers arrived in the Fall, just before winter! Very quickly the whole scheme began to unravel.

But the worst blow was that Bull seems to have purchased the land without verifying the true rights of ownership and features of reservations upon it. Personally, none of this makes, or indeed can make sense to me. Titles, deeds, conniving and larceny are quite beyond my comprehension. Suffice to say that at the end of the saga Bull had lost everything.

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Copyright © 21 February 2003 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


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