Ballou, Adin

Ballou, Adin

(bălo͞o`), 1803–90, American Universalist clergyman, b. Cumberland, R.I. He was prominent in the movement that resulted in the Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists (1831–41). In 1841 he organized near Milford, Mass., the Hopedale Community, one of the religious utopian communities of the period. He was its president and edited its periodical, the Practical Christian. The Hopedale Community, whose dissolution as a communal enterprise began c.1857, merged (1868) with the Unitarian Hopedale Parish, of which Ballou was pastor until 1880. His writings include Practical Christian Socialism (1854), Primitive Christianity and Its Corruptions (1870), and History of the Hopedale Community (1897).


See his autobiography, edited by his son-in-law, W. S. Heywood (1896).

Ballou, Adin (1828–1886)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Adin Ballou was a Universalist minister who helped prepare the way for Spiritualism in America. In 1842 he formed the Hopedale Community, near Milford, Massachusetts. The community did a lot of good public relations work for the burgeoning Spiritualist movement, and from 1850 onward various spirit manifestations were produced there. Ballou proclaimed his conversion to Spiritualism in 1852, with the publication of his book Modern Spirit Manifestations. In that year he also received the first of several communications from his deceased son. He became one of Spiritualism’s staunchest supporters.


Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978

Ballou, Adin

(1803–90) Universalist clergyman, reformer; born in Cumberland, R.I. A Universalist minister who preached throughout Massachusetts (1823–41), he was founder of the Hopedale Community—one of the first of such American Utopian enterprises—in Milford, Mass., (1841–68). He preached non-resistance throughout the Civil War, then saw his community turned into an industrial center; still he remained pastor of Hopedale Parish (through 1880). Although his efforts at establishing a utopian community failed, he exerted considerable influence on Unitarian and Universalist thought during his almost 60 years as a clergyman.