In The Weeds, 1/22/13: Christmas in Icaria

This coming Thursday, January 24th, 2013, The Denton County Courthouse Museum will present a program about a little-known part of Denton County history. Please read the following for more information:

Christmas in Icaria
a film by Daniel Garcia and Aurelio Medina

Brought to you
by the Denton County Office of History and Culture

with a short presentation on New Icaria
by Mike Cochran

at 12:15 PM, Jan. 24 
in the Commissioners Courtroom – 
Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St. 

The film is the work of Spanish filmmakers Daniel Garcia and Aurelio Medina, who traveled to Denton County to make a film about New Icaria, the French communist experiment which tried to settle near present day Justin, Texas in 1848. The film makers interviewed a few locals, among them, Bill Marquis of Stony, Texas and a descendant of the colonists.

Etienne Cabet, the founder of the Icarian movement in France was a visionary, communist, author, journalist and rabble rouser during the tumultuous times after the French Revolution. He envisioned a perfect world, a utopia, based on equality for all citizens, and at the height of his popularity, he had tens of thousands of followers in France. In 1848 he decided to make his utopian vision a reality and he decided to build it in Justin, Texas. What could possibly go wrong?

The film will be introduced by local historian, Mike Cochran, who will present a short lecture on the New Icarian colony and the Icarian movement. 

The program will be offered Museum exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public. Handicapped parking and accessibility through the north entrance.

Stacks Image 435
An illustration from a 19th century book showing the jubilant Icarian departing for their new colony in Texas.
Stacks Image 439
An illustration from that same book, depicting the sad return of the Icarians from their ill-fated attempt to colonize Denton County.
posted by Chuck

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