Nineteenth-century U.S. novelist and social activist George Lippard wrote his 1845 best seller, The Quaker City; or, The Monks of Monk Hall, in the wake of economic chaos following the Banking Panic of 1837. While most of the novel portrays sensationalized acts of violence and sexual aggression used to call attention to the dire social circumstances of his era, Lippard includes two contrasting prophecies of America's future: one, a dystopian nightmare set in A.D. 1950, and the other, a brief, utopian vision set in approximately A.D. 2040. Lippard's inclusion of this utopian revelation, which portrays a United States free of violence, provides insights into the fate of utopia in America during troubled economic times. This article examines Lippard's early brand of urban socialism and his role as a sensation novelist, noting his narrative method for articulating utopian ideas. By selecting a precariously stationed female character as his visionary, Lippard underscores the fragility of utopian potentiality amid 1840s U.S. economic chaos. Because of Lippard's allegorical structure, as his heroine is threatened, so too is the utopian future she foresees.

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