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Life inside the Earth

Title: Life inside the Earth: The Koreshan Unity and Its Urban Pioneers, 1880-1908.
Name(s): Adams, Katherine J., author
Koslow, Jennifer, professor directing thesis
Frank, Andrew, committee member
Oshatz, Molly, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis presents a social and cultural history of the Koreshan Unity from its official beginnings in the 1880s to its decline in 1908. Founded by eclectic medical doctor Cyrus R. Teed, the Koreshan Unity emerged as yet another utopian experiment during the late-nineteenth century. While many utopian communities have been established in the United States since the colonial period, the Koreshans were a community unique in ideology and social practices. Founded on ancient Christian beliefs, science, and communal standards, the Koreshan Unity has become known throughout the American utopian historical narrative as the utopian community that believed humanity lived inside the earth. While Koreshan beliefs are important in recording the community's history, a more personal history has often been left out of the scholarship on this topic. This thesis seeks to investigate the human side of the Koreshan Unity by tracing the life of Cyrus Teed and providing a glimpse into the everyday lives of the Koreshan members in their settlement in Estero, Florida. Utilizing the Koreshan Unity papers located at the State Archives of Florida, this material culture represents how the Koreshan members tried to realize Teed's and their utopian dream. While the Koreshan Unity began its decline after Teed's death in 1908, its members still portrayed their utopian experiment as a success because they found a haven in the religious and communal opportunities the community supported. Currently, this view of the Koreshan Unity is being preserved at the Koreshan State Historic Site (KSHS), located on the once Koreshan settlement grounds. While scholars who have contributed to the American utopian historical narrative have defined "success" based on numbers and general cultural trends, this thesis proves that only the participants in the movement can truly define what success really means.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0116 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: March 22, 2010.
Keywords: Cyrus Teed, Koreshan State Historic Site, Utopian Communities, Koreshanity, Cellular Cosmogony
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Jennifer Koslow, Professor Directing Thesis; Andrew Frank, Committee Member; Molly Oshatz, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Adams, K. J. (2010). Life inside the Earth: The Koreshan Unity and Its Urban Pioneers, 1880-1908. Retrieved from