A Vision for a Confident Man

Book Advertising Topolobampo's Commercial Value

Entrace to Topolobampo Harbor

The Mexican National Railway Views

A Beautiful Harbor Full of Potential

Albert K. Owen first discovered Topolobampo Bay after being hired on for an expedition there in 1873. That visit put a vision in his head that he would never shake, and it would drive him to madness in his attempt to colonize the land (Catspaw Utopia). The image above is from a book published to demonstrate the commercial value of Topolobampo Harbor to prospective investors and colonists. To the left is a book published full of postcard pictures that illustrate the Mexican Railroad line. This same line is the one Owen was tasked to extend from the United States to Topolobampo Harbor, and it was this railroad that his supposed utopia labored to complete.

Book Advertising Topolobampo's Commercial Value

A Utopian City

Owen meant to take advantage of Topolobampo, and he advertised it as the ideal place for settlers to colonize. The image above shows a sprawling city that never was, but its ideal conception was so great that it spawned an entire utopian venture. 

Owen sought to grant people a "palladium of existence" or residence in a utopia as stated in Integral Cooperation at Work. These residences would be provided for people by the colony and supported through work and not with rent or taxes as mentioned in the same book. This sprawling city was imagined to revolutionize the world. 

Book Advertising Topolobampo's Commercial Value

A City Upon a Harbor

Owen's vision was like the Puritan preacher John Winthrop's in that it was in the vain of the "city upon a hill" sermon. Winthrop gave a sermon called "A Model of Christian Charity where he spoke to English colonists headed to America telling them that the colony they were founding would be special. He wanted it to stand as a "city upon a hill" for other people to see that a Puritan vision could form a successful and God-fearing utopian society and serve as a standard for other would-be utopianists to follow. 

Albert K. Owen's vision was an international trade hub upon a bay. The photo above shows perspective trade routes coming from Topolobampo. Owen would take advantage of the Bay's location on the Pacific in North America and trade with all the nations of the world. This would result in billions of dollars worth of wealth, or so the dream went.

Owen's dream was for people to live without want in a socialist, industrial society, but he never became the utopia on the bay as he envisioned. Instead, Owen stands as an example, but perhaps not for the reasons he initially imagined when he dreamed of utopia.

Owen's Vision