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Inventory of the Albert Kimsey Owen Papers, 1872-1909
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The rise and fall of one of the utopian colonies so popular toward the end of the nineteenth century, and the development of railroads in Mexico under Porfirio Díaz.
Albert Kimsey Owen (c.1848-1916<), born in Chester, Pennsylvania, son of a Quaker physician, was a utopian reformer and founder of a co-operative community in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico. By profession Owen was a civil engineer. He went to Colorado to survey a railroad route, then on to Mexico to help lay out what was to become the Mexican Central Railroad. Upon first seeing Topolobampo Bay in 1873, Owen's dream was to found the perfect city, a colony based on cooperative principles, complete with workers, artisans, and intellectuals, to be supplied by a railroad line from the United States, with entry at El Paso, across the Sierra Madred mountains, to the Bay of Topolobampo. Since this would be the shortest route to the Pacific from the great industrial cities of the United States, he envisioned Topolobampo as a center for the Pacific trade.
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