Robert Dale Owen

1801 - 1877

Robert Dale Owen
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Robert Dale Owen

Social reformer and anti-slavery campaigner. Born in Glasgow, the son of Robert Owen (1771 - 1858), founder of the co-operative movement, and grandson of the reforming industrialist David Dale (1739 - 1806). In 1825, he accompanied his father to set up the New Harmony colony in Indiana, intended to extend the principles established at New Lanark.

Owen entered the U.S. congress in 1843, where he was instrumental in framing legislation promoting women's rights and state-provided education. He became the U.S. Ambassador to India (1853 - 1858). He wrote on the wrongs of slavery in the 1860s.

Owen is perhaps best remembered for his role in establishing the Smithsonian Institution, the pre-eminent museum and research institute based in Washington DC.

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