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Envisioning New Switzerland: A Founding Document for the Swiss Colonists at Vevay, Indiana By Ellen Stepleton
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During one of the most tumultuous decades in Swiss history, a small group of Vaudois republicans chose to secure their children’s familial, cultural and spiritual patrimony by relocating to the... More > New World. In April 1800, at Le Chenit in the Vallée de Joux, five families framed a compact to organize a communal settlement in the Northwest Territory. Recently discovered, their pact is presented here in its original French and in English translation, along with an accompanying letter; additionally, another letter and an English translation of the compact as prepared by Jean Jaques Dufour in 1801 is supplied. Dufour is considered a founding father of American viticulture, and the Swiss settlers at Vevay, Indiana the first to succeed as commercial winemakers in the territorial United States. Scholars interested in founding documents, early American communes, commercial enterprises, cultural assimilation, and Swiss history in the Napoleonic era may find these documents intriguing.< Less

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