Front Page Titles (by Subject) 386.: M. CABET DAILY NEWS, 30 OCT., 1849, P. 3 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV
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386.: M. CABET DAILY NEWS, 30 OCT., 1849, P. 3 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, XXV - Newspaper Writings December 1847 - July 1873 Part IV, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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In the course of a leading article, 29 Oct., p. 4, on the Catholic Church in French politics, the Daily News incidentally brought in accusations against Etienne Cabet as a swindler; Mill quotes from this article. Cabet, who had associated with Owen when in exile in England 1834-39, announced in 1847 the founding of a communal settlement, Icaria, in America. A group of settlers left in January 1848 and tried to establish themselves in a particularly unsuitable part of Texas, where they were joined by Cabet early in 1849. He took his followers to Nauvoo, the abandoned Mormon settlement in Illinois, a few months later, but the enterprise was a failure. By September he had been charged with defrauding his followers (see The Times, 20 Oct., p. 5). Condemned in his absence to two years in prison, on his return to France in 1851 he was acquitted. The letter is headed as title, with subhead, “To the Editor of the Daily News.” It is identified in Mill’s bibliography as “A letter signed D in the Daily News of 30th October 1849 on M. Cabet”
(MacMinn, p. 72).
I have seen with surprise, in your paper of to-day, a leading article which, in the course of a discussion on a totally different subject, and for the mere purpose of illustration, aims a mortal stab at the honour and character of a man now suffering under the persecution of the authorities in his native country—M. Cabet. I have sufficient confidence in your sense of justice to feel convinced that you have only joined in the hue and cry against this ill-treated man from inadvertence, and ignorance of the real facts of the case. No one is surprised that the tory press (whether calling itself liberal or the contrary) and their foreign correspondents, who must be better informed if the editors are not, should think any amount of suppressio veri quite fair, or at least not likely to be found out, when directed against a known socialist. But as you are not to be classed with writers of this description, you will be glad to be informed or reminded of that important part of the truth which has escaped your notice. The judgment against M. Cabet on the charge of escroquerie was pronounced by default, and therefore without a hearing, M. Cabet being at the time necessarily absent, living in the midst of the very people whom he is accused of having defrauded. The judgment, which in the absence of the accused the court had perhaps no alternative but to pass upon him, is of so little practical effect, that notwithstanding the sentence he has the power of returning at any time and standing his trial. But though the case, as it affects M. Cabet, on account of his absence was not tried at all, his friend and co-defendant, M. Krolikowski,1 who was present, was tried on the same charge, and acquitted, after having made in behalf of M. Cabet the following protest contained in the Démocratie Pacifique of 22nd September last:
Citizen Cabet, whose presence is indispensable in the Icarian colony of Nauvoo (United States), cannot possibly appear unless the court consents to postpone the trial to next April; but I will defend him in every manner. Our cause is common; and there has been so much calumny against the Icarians, and against citizen Cabet in particular, accusing him sometimes of proposing a chimerical undertaking, and sometimes of abandoning his associates, after having invited them to emigrate, that I think it necessary for our defence to publish the unanimous protest of the Icarians established at Nauvoo, which shall be produced before the judges.2
The following is the document alluded to; it bears 189 signatures of emigrants, male and female:
One of those great iniquities which would suffice to dishonour an age is, perhaps, about to be accomplished in France. Ignoble calumnies attempt to disgrace the name of Cabet, of the Christian philosopher who has consecrated the whole of a long life to the moral education of mankind; the regenerator, the intrepid apostle, who, abandoning country, family, and fortune, prepares, in remote climates, amidst dangers and privations, the happiness of the human race. We, the witnesses and objects of his affection and of his devotedness—we, already enjoying the fruits of his sacrifices and of our own perseverance, protest against accusations as absurd as infamous, the triumph of which would be a new stain on our unfortunate country.3
These are the feelings entertained towards this “convicted swindler” by his victims, he living in the midst of them—and this is the man whom your article, with a contemptuously pitying reservation in his favour as a sincere fanatic, declares culpable of “falsehood,” of “treachery,” and of attempting “to form a socialist republic, without sagacity, industry, honesty, or truth.” By what authority does your writer thus asperse a man of whose principles the very words he uses show that he knows nothing? The illusion of communists, so far as it is an illusion, consists, on the contrary, in flattering themselves that a socialist community can be founded on “sagacity, industry, honesty, and truth” alone, without the vulgar incentives of private interest.
It need hardly be added, that the English newspapers, which have seldom let a week pass since M. Cabet’s trial without some insulting reference to him as a convicted cheat and impostor, take care never to say that he was condemned unheard, and have carefully kept from their readers the indignant protest of those whom he is pretended to have defrauded and ruined.
[1 ]Louis Krolikowski (1807-55), Polish army officer in exile in Paris, a close friend and collaborator of Cabet and, in the latter’s absence, editor of the Populaire.
[2 ]Letter to the editor (20 Sept., 1849), Démocratie Pacifique, 22 Sept., p. 3. A Fourierist daily (1843-49) edited by Prosper Victor Considérant (1808-93), the journal signalled its rejection of violent revolution by including “Pacifique” in its title.
[3 ]“Protestation de la colonie icarienne à Nauvoo,” ibid.