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Its prominent citizens included Owen's sons: Robert Dale Owen, an Indiana congressman and social reformer who sponsored legislation to create the Smithsonian Institution; David Dale Owen, a noted state and federal geologist; William Owen, a New Harmony businessman; and Richard Owen, Indiana state geologist, Indiana University professor, and first president of Purdue University. Numerous scientists and educators contributed to New Harmony’s intellectual community, including William Maclure, Marie Louise Duclos Fretageot, Thomas Say, Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, Joseph Neef, Frances Wright, and others.
The town also served as the second headquarters of the U. Many of the town's old Harmonist buildings have been restored.
The move, although it was made primarily for religious reasons, would provide the Harmonists with easier access to eastern markets and a place where they could live more peacefully with others who shared their German language and culture.
Members grumbled about inequity in credits between workers and non-workers.
Despite the community's shortcomings, Owen was a passionate promoter of his vision for New Harmony.
In May 1815 the last of the Harmonists who had remained behind until the sale of their town in Pennsylvania was completed departed for their new town along the Wabash River.
The settlement also began to attract new arrivals, including emigrants from Germany such as members of Rapp's congregation from Wurttemberg, many of whom expected the Harmonists to pay for their passage to America.