Sunday, February 26, 2023

A utopian from the Oneida free love community murdered President Garfield

President Garfield’s assassin Charles Guiteau was one of history’s first incels

Guiteau wasn’t unable to find love only in the real world — he also failed to find it at the Oneida Community, an upstate New York colony that practiced “regulated promiscuity.” Traditional marriage was banned there, but the male and female members were all considered man and wife, meaning anyone could sleep with anyone who agreed. The problem for Guiteau is that not one woman at Oneida welcomed the short, excitable, redhead into her bed. Instead, the community’s fairer sex tagged Charles with a nickname: “Git out!” 

“Sexual frustration . . . was the main cause of Guiteau’s misery,” writes Susan Wels in “An Assassin in Utopia: The True Story of a 19th-century Sex Cult and a President’s Murder” (Pegasus Crime). 

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