The search for Eden: Paper Towns That Never Where


  • Thomas Nieman



The pursuit of happiness as an issue in planning for towns in trans-Appalachian America was a prime requisite. It is the intent of this paper to illustrate that, while many of the towns were paper towns that were never actualised, they acted as a catalyst for immigrants seeking to escape the oppression of Europe. Visualised as a new Eden, and promising land ownership with liberty, they were an opiate so strong that even with numerous instances of fraud and deceit the settlers came. Their belief that they had indeed arrived at Eden was so strong that it transcended any and all difficulties. This belief has influenced the planning and development of towns in America up to and including modern times. As long as people believe that their living situation is what is meant for them, their pursuit of happiness is satisfied. They have found their Eden.…the mild breezes of a summer's eve, playing upon the enraptured senses, softens the heart to love and friendship. Heavens! What charms are there in liberty (Imlay, 1793).


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How to Cite

Nieman, T. (2004). The search for Eden: Paper Towns That Never Where. Landscape Review, 9(1), 258–261.