J. A. (John Adolphus) Etzler.

The paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men online

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Such have been generally the inducements for tell-
ing truths on important subjects !

Such is our present miserable state of general in-
telligence, and nothing is done to improve it, except
some degree of toleration for those who venture to
speak against general eiTors and deceptions.

We are trained up in filling our memoiy with
words and confused notions ; and learn some insipid
mechanical occupation for gaining our livelihood from
others.

All our aim is to be, to gain advantage on our fel-
low-man ; but to gain advantage on nature for gene-
ral improvement of thehuman condition is not thought
of yet.



201



By the new means :

would be, at all events, but little gain on one side, and
little damage on the other.

Fraud and lies can have no field for practice, and
the natural sincerity of one will produce sincerity of
the other in return ; for insincerity never pleases, and
never interests.

The criterion of general truths will as plainly be
understood by every one, without teachers, as a child
knows how to discern cold from warm, wet from dry,
sharp from blunt.

By degrees all causes for apprehensions for telling
truth will subside ; and then will men become rational.



It is not for men brought up in prejudices and
errors to judge of superiority of intelligence. It is
only for self-reflecting men, that now may soundly
j udge of what the state of better general intelligence
must then be.

Man sees and examines there the things themselves.



There is no inducement, no interest, to hurt any
man's feelings or happiness ; and the discovery of one
is equally beneficial for all, to the highest possible
degree, without prejudice to any individual.



202
At present :

Nature is productive, beyond all calculation, under
the lead of rational man : she displays continually her
activity in endless mysterious productions. All is riddle
to us. However, we see means and powers infinitely
superior to all human wants, if we hut open our eyes
and understanding.

But such is man's folly and ignorance, that he cares
little for all the substantial things for human life and
happiness; if he could only turn every thing into gold
or money, to buy the labours and dangers of his fellow-
man, then he would conceive himself happy. What
a trifling creature ! — with all his boast of being the
sublimest thing in the universe. Such is but one
consequence, among many equally deplorable, of our
present intellectual condition.



We know not one ten-thousandth part of what the
most ignorant among us thinks to know ; and we know
not one-thousandth part of what every man could and
ought to know, for his own happiness. For all our pro-
genitors, for thousands of years, passed their lives like
we, if not worse, in a general state of ignorance, and
erroneous, superstitious notions about every thing in
the visible world. The reason is plain: there was
never any united co-operation for great and useful
purposes : a few had to domineer over the many, by
craft : single individuals' reasonings and discoveries,



203

By the new means :

Gold, or any thiug of high price and of no intrinsic
value, will be looked upon as a childish trifle of no
value : for they can, even for ornament, their only
use, be substituted by other things, that answer
equally or better the same purposes, in any desired
quantity. But the really beneficial produces of nature
will be created in superabundance for every man ;
and all the study and delight will be directed towards
such objects, that may meliorate human life, not for
some certain individuals, but for all men.



It is not but till then that man will become a ra-
tional creature, consistent with himself, and with na-
ture, and in harmony with his own race, with gigantic
powers, means, and objects of activity. He will see
then that men lived hitherto, through ignorance and
errors, like wolves, fighting for prey among them-
selves, when they could live in harmony, and super-
abundance, and felicity, like gods.

Men will then have ideas of their own nature, and
the world in general, very different from what they
are now ; for they can and will explore ten thousand



204



At present :

contrary to vulgar notions, were disregarded, or even
punished in wsome way or another, or they had to hide
their knov\ledges.

What there is now of sciences is taught but to a
few, in fragments, and in a very imperfect and labo-
rious manner, both to the teachers and learners. There
are but poor provisions for materials of instruction, ex-
cept books. The study of human nature, and of uni-
versal nature, and the application of the acquired know-
ledges, are to be derived from experiments and obser-
vations, in generalising the conclusions drawn there-
from ; but this is done but in a very limited extent, to
very limited purposes, with very limited means, and
not one ten -thousandth part of men in the most civi-
lized nations is acquainted with the results thereof.

We have a great many Greek and Latin names for
the various branches of the science of nature, which
do not add any thing to the clearness of conception.
An universal study of nature is hardly ever attempted
by any individual; but it is done in fragments for but
petty purposes.

This state of mental culture is owing to but general
circumstances, and chiefly to our preceding ages.

To describe the errors and defects of our present
education and studies would fill volumes.

The well-informed and reflecting minds know them,
and the rest would not understand them. Therefore
these hints may suffice.



205

By the new means :

times more of it, than we know now, within one gene-
ration, and will have removed all the childisli erro-
neous notions of nature, and man himself that now
exist.

Men will have their mighty means in operation for
exploring whatever be an object of human knowledges
over all the world ; and the results will be known to
every one by new means of rapid communication.

Though we have, by the art of printing, a great ad-
vantage over the ancients, yet the means of commu-
nication will be immensely more rapid and general
than now ; so that any important event or discovery
may be diffused and known to every man throughout
the world in a few weeks, without pay or labour of any
individual : and no individual interest will hinder the
universal diffusion of new valuable discoveries or ideas.

There will be but one science, — but one way to learn ;
and no laborious study and teaching. This science
will be the science of nature, where every thing is
connected with every thing ; and no part can be well
understood by itself, unless its relation to the whole is
taken into view. It is there not the names, that puzzle
the mind, but the thing themselves are to be seen, ob-
served, and examined, before their names, classifica-
tion, &c., be noticed. The chances for seeing, hearing,
feeling, smelling, tasting, and reasoning, will be open
to every one through life. All the valuable know-
ledges of the human race may thus be learned by every
child, with no more trouble than it learns now, what
is a house, tree, apple, horse, &c,, with their uses.

T



206

The glaring difference between the present and
future condition of man is justified by the preceding
stat^ments ; but those who do not pay attention to
accumte reasoning will not understand them ; and
I deqlare, I do not possess the talent to express
myself intelligibly to those who do not pay attention
to mo.

I am an human, and as conscious as any man can be
of being liable to error. But I hare stated the reasons
of all my assertions before the public. The attentive
reader will perceive that I took a great deal of care to
guard against error in this untried matter. I have
offered any further explanation desired on the subject.
What could I do more ?

The objects stated are manifestly of paramount in-
terest to every human being. I have a right now to
declare, and every man of good sense will join in it,
that whoever looks on these objects with indifference,
and does not bestow his full attention and most se-
rious reflection on it, has no rational claim to be ranked
with man. I shall retract this declaration, and submit
to any atonement required for it, as soon as the stated
fundament of the proposals be proved to be absurd.

It would be inexcusable in me not to apply to our
Government in this case so important for the nation.
I think, therefore, I owe it to the public and to myself,
to inform the reader, that I have made application, si-
multaneously with the publication of this book, to the
Congress and to the Chief Magistrate of the nation ;
and as it may be material to know the manner of my
application, I annex the copies of both applications,
of which the results will be published.



207



To the Honourable the Senate^
and to the Honourable the House of Representatives of
the United States, in Congress assembled.

The petition of the undersigned to your Honourable
body most respectfully shows,

The petitioner brings before your Honourable body
a subject that appears to him of the utmost importance
to the nation and to the whole humankind at large.

The subject is explained in a book just published,
entitled : —

The Paradise within the reach of all men, without
labour, by powers of nature and machinery; an
address to all intelligent men, &c.
Of which a copy is adjoined hereby.

This book shows means to exalt the American nation
to power, wealth, and a general happiness superior to
all what was ever conceived by man, within a period
of less than ten years.

The book is published for the purpose of forming an
association for the execution of the proposals explained
in it, in case the Government of the United States
should not take the exclusive direction of this new
great cause.

The substance of this book is—
1. It is proved that there are powers at the disposal
of man, million times greater than all human exer-
tions could effect hitherto.
These powers are derived —



208

a. From wind.

b. From the tide.

c. From the waves of the sea, caused by wind.

d. From steam, generated by heat of the sun, by
means of concentrating reflectors, or burning mir-
rors of a simple contrivance

2. It is shown how these powers are to be rendered
re-active, so that, notwithstanding all irregularities
and intermissions of them, perpetual motions of uni-
form powers to any desired extent and magnitude
may be produced by them.

3. A system of application of these powers for su-
perseding all human labour.

4. The objects attainable by the system of appli-
cation.

5. A constitution for au association, and the condi-
tions for communicating the remaining details of the
inventions.

6. In the second part, the course to be taken in the
United States for attaining all objects explained in
the first part.

7. A view of the condition of man, arising from the
application of the proposed means, in comparison to
the present general condition of man.

Every thing necessary for the conviction of the
stated truths is contained in this book, except one
simple mechanism of a machine for doing all works
in hard materials, in earth, wood, or rocks, and some
details of establishments, which shall be communicated
as soon as the fundamental truths, proved in this
book, are examined, and acknowledged as far as essen-
tial to the purposes in view, and a way be shown and



209

guaranteed to the author, to patronise his interest, be
it from an association, or from the Government.

Your petitioner humbly proposes to your Honour-
able body

To appoint^ for examining the subject of the book, a
committee, whose objections, questions, or doubts on
the subject, it is, however, most essential to commu-
nicate to your petitioner, who will join his replies to
their report, for your further decision.

In submitting this subject for your consideration,
your petitioner has not so much his own personal in-
terest in view, as the interest of the nation, and human
kind at large.

The new truths of the book will soon be promul-
gated throughout America and Europe ; and they will
find a ready reception in the congenial spirit and
knowledges of the present days.

Your petitioner deems it of the greatest importance
to offer humbly, of these truths, the first cognizance to
the Great Council of the freest and happiest nation on
earth ; this country being the most favourable for the
introduction of these new means into practice. But
in doing so., he apprehends nothing so mucTi as that
his proposals might be mistaken for extravagance, and
therefore be slighted before examination : he fears it,
not so much for his own individual interest, as for your
honour and glory, and for the glory and happiness of
the nation. For if the American nation should not
be the first to make use of the proposed means —
some other nation must be it, and may then, with
them, rule over the rest of the world.

t2



210

Your petitioner is convinced, as well as any man in
the nation can be, that, had he proposed an object
which would bring some millions of dollars into the
national treasury, your sense of your exalted duties,
your patriotism and wisdom, would prompt you to
bestow your most serious attention upon the subject.
But when a subject appears before you that promises
ten thousand times more — will it not be taxed an
extravagance, unworthy your consideration ?

Your Honours, this is my case; but it is not my
fault — it is the fault of past ages — of their having paid
no attention to the subject proposed.

I ask humbly your wisdom — what shall I do in
such a case ? Shall I consign with me the greatest
discovery ever made to the grave, for fear of being-
taken for insane and derided ? — or, shall I not rather
apply all the means in my power to invite the atten-
tion of the governments of the civilized nations to the
subject ? Or, if I cannot succeed in such endeavours,
shall I not, as my last resource, solicit the attention of
the most intelligent part of the public on the subject,
when I can show plainly the ways and means for de-
riving incalculably great benefits from it ?

I have chosen both latter ways : I have offered the
discoveries, first, at once to the Government and to
the Public of the first American nation. If I am
wrong, the book shows it ; if I am right, nothing ma-
terial can be disproved ; and in this case, I must pur-
sue my course towards realizing my great objects,
wherever I find the first chance for it.

I am aware that other discoverers of great, valuable
things, were taken for insane, even by governments —



211

but I know also, that some of t?em found favourable
reception of the Government of the United States.

One simple truth will often lead to an endless con-
catenation of other most important truths, never
thought of before. So it is with mathematical truths
— those who see then but the final results, without
studying the fundamental truths, cannot believe them,
and very readily deem them to be fables. The dis-
coveries of the system of the universe, the new con-
tinent, the law of the lever, the art of printing, the
power of steam, and a hundred others, which all pro-
ceeded from simple truths, and led to infinite results,
are examples. But when the discoverers had no
authorities of men yet for their support, but only sober
reason and arithmetic, like I have now, to appeal to,
they were disbelieved ; and it was thought even a
disgrace to condescend so far as to inquire into their
reasons. Whether my exhibited truths shall have a
better fate in this country, is now depending from
your decision.

The fundamental truths, in the present case, are so
simple, that a child of ten years may easily compre -
hend them. They are only these : —

That the wind, the periodical rise and fall, and the
motions of the ocean, and the transformation of
water into steam, aff'ord ten thousand times more
power than the whole human race may ever want
for all imaginable purposes ; that these powers can
be rendered operative uninterruptedly; that by re-
flectors the heat of the sun can be concentrated, and
any desired heat produced ; that by this heat steam
can be generated ; and sand, clay, and other vitres-



212

cible substances can be vitrified ; that the finest cul-
tivation of soil, and all works in the ground, can be
efi*ected by one simple contrivance ; and that very
large vehicles can be moved by such great powers ;
and that pliable stufi" can be composed and formed
into any desired form.

There is nothing absurd or confutable in all these
fundamental truths ; and they will appear quite
common things. Yet they are more than sufiicient to
produce a total revolution of the human race, as soon
as understood ; for they can eflfect in one year more
than hitherto could be done in 10,000 years, and
things unheard of. The world will take a quite dif-
ferent appearance than it has had hitherto to man ;
productive of thousand times more means for human
happiness, than the human race may be wanting ; a
paradise beyond the common conceptions.

A brief statement of the attainable objects may not
be improper here, which the book shows more plainly.
The whole country changed into one garden, supe-
rior to whatever human hands could efiect hitherto ;
the ground covered every where with the most fertile
soil, with all desirable vegetables of the climate, in
any desired arrangement ; the swamps and lakes filled
up, and dmined; the rivers, creeks, &c., narrowed
into channels of vitrified substance, bordered with
dams against inundation ; elevations or excavations
of ground for any desired purpose; canals and aque-
ducts for irrigating the soil, at any time, any where ;
ponds for fishes, on bottoms and with borders of
vitrified substance ; the water of canals, rivers, ponds,
&c., in its utmost purity, distilled or filtrated. Roads



213

of large tables, many feet thick, all as in one solid
piece of vitrified substance, hard as flint; with iron
rails; with establishments for propelling vehicles,
carrying many thousand tons and men at once, running
at the rate of 1000 miles per day, in every direction,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Mines of any
extent and depth. Palaces, superior in magnificence,
grandeur, and commodities, to any thing known ; of
crystal-like appearance, inside and outside ; and in-
destructible for thousands of years ; constructed as if
of one entire piece, for the common habitations of men
every where; floating islands of light wooden stuff"
impervious to water, made of any kind of wood,
covered with fertile soil, bearing trees, and all kinds
of desirable vegetables, with palaces and gardens, and
thousands of families for tlieir inhabitants, exempt
from all dangers and incommodities ; which may
move by powerful engines at the rate of 1000 miles
per day through the ocean. Man may travel over
land, and see from pole to pole in a fortnight ; from
America to Europe in three to four days with a cer-
tainty. All things desirable for human life, when
once known, may be rapidly multiplied, without la-
bour or expense, to superabundance for every one ;
and wealth become as cheap as water. The establish-
ments and machineries multiply themselves, being of
a quite simple construction. Soft furnitures, for com-
modities, or ornament and dress, are produced withou
labour, in the form, fashion, or quality wanted, ready
made; being cast in a similar manner as paper, of
cohesive and fibrous substances, fitly prepared ; with-
out any carding, spinning, weaving, sewing, Sec. In
applying the present sciences of physics, superior food



214

and beverage, scientifically prepared, and purified
from all admixtures injurious to healthy superior air
for breathing ; and a superior life in every respect to
what was ever in practice, may prolong life to an ex-
tent not to be foretold. Man sees, by these new means,
himself exalted to a superior kind of beings. He may
not only enjoy his life in a far superior manner, but
means are afforded to learn in one year more highly
useful things to be known, than the most learned could
not learn in all his life hitherto, and without laborious
study.

All such things may be efi'ected within less than
ten years, beginning with a principal not larger than
a turnpike, or a canal of twenty miles costs now, which
may be collected by shares of twenty to fifty dollars ;
but for the Government it would be a trifle. No risk,
no confidence, is asked, except the trouble of exami-
nation.

The same powers may also be used as weapons for
conquering and subjecting nations: because they
aff'ord means to which neither gunpowder nor armies
of any number of men can resist. Europe will be ap-
proached to America within three or four days' jour-
ney, by means of impregnable fortresses. The question
will hence be, whether America or Europe is to be the
ruling power ? And this question is now brought be-
fore your Honourable body. The fate of the world is
thus depending from your decision.

Your petitioner will, as in duty bound, for ever

pray, &c.

Your most obedient humble servant,

J.A.ETZLER,

Pittsburgh, February 21 , 1833.



21d



To his Excellency f Andrew Jackson, President of
the United States.

Sir,

In sending a book to your Excellency, entitled *' The
Paradise," &c., and copies of petitions to Congress, I
think I fulfil a most important duty towards the
nation, whose glory, power, and general happiness, is
trusted to your care.

I promise to show what no man ever did, and oflfer
mathematical proof for it. I desire nothing so much
as a suspension of judgment on the subject proposed,
until an examination and fair undei-standing of it be
effected.

The book is addressed at once to the Government
of the United States, to the American nation, and to
all civilized nations and governments, and will soon
find its way through America and Europe. I have no
hesitation to confess, that I shall seize upon the first
opportunity for application offered to me any where.

For I know that other discoverers of great, valuable
things had to labour with difficulties, for gaining a
fair hearing, and examination, and execution, ten or
twenty years; and some died of grief in poverty,
though their discoveries enriched nations after their
death. Human life is too short and uncertain, as to
submit patiently to such a fate.

It would be of the happiest consequences for the
whole human race, if the unavoidable revolution of the
human condition that must take place, in consequence
of the progress of human intelligence (knowledges of



.216

* ■ ,'

new pjowers and means), tliroijghout the world, would

originate in the United States % where situation and

national constitution are eminently jinore favourable

to the free development of the human powers for

general happiness, than any where on the globe.

Every friend to'hurnanity would therefore rejoice,
if the Government of the United States could be pre-
vailed to bestow attention uponi'such subjects as pro-
posed; and it will certainly behove tOsthe dignity of
an enlightened people, not to send new proposals
home without inquiry into the reasons, because they
may seem extravagant.

If any thing material can be disproved in my state-
ments, I am silenced for ever ; and the Government
will be justified in the eyes of the nation, and of other
enlightened peoples, for not taking any further notice
of the subject. But in the contrary case, your Excel-
lency may judge what the consequences would be.

I humbly leave it to your Excellency whether, and in
what manner, you will please to favour the proposals.

I am, most respectfully,
Your most obedient humble servant,

J. A. ETZLER.

Pittsburgh, February 21, 1833.



John Brooks, Printer, 421, Oxford Street.





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Online LibraryJ. A. (John Adolphus) EtzlerThe paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men → online text (page 14 of 14)