Owen, Robert Dale
Owen later became active in Indiana and U.S. politics. As a member of Congress (1843–47) he was instrumental in the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. When the Indiana constitution was revised in 1850, Owen secured an extension of property rights for married women and state provision for public schools. He served (1853–58) as U.S. minister to Naples, where he became a spiritualist. After his return to the United States he strongly advocated the emancipation of slaves and helped investigate the condition of the freedmen. His writings include An Outline of the System of Education at New Lanark (1824), Hints on Public Architecture (1849), The Wrong of Slavery (1864), The Debatable Land between This World and the Next (1872), a novel, a play, and numerous pamphlets.
See the autobiography of his early years, Threading My Way (1874); biographies by R. W. Leopold (1940, repr. 1969) and E. Pancoast and A. E. Lincoln (1940).
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