Annotations - Louisa May Alcott, "Transcendental Wild Oats" (1873)


In his account of the customs at Brook Farm, the Transcendentalist community established in West Roxbury, Massachusetts (1841-1847), Brook Farm: Its Members, Scholars, and Visitors (1900), Lindsay Swift describes the powerful association of clothing and exploitation made by Charles Lane, “who decided that linen was the only fabric which a moral man could conscientiously wear. The use of cotton, he held, must certainly be discouraged because it gave excuse for the employment of slave labor; and he further argued that in our choice of wool for clothing we rob the sheep of his natural defences.” (64)