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November 2013

Please Note: The Archives database has been updated as of October 28, 2013. There are a more scanned images as well as additions to the database itself. Click on the link in the right column to view. Look under “Inside Links“.

Peter Bender Material digitized.

In 2005 a local Fort Myers woman donated a few boxes of material that belonged to a man named Harry W. Manley. His original name was Harry William Mahneke. He changed his name to Manley in 1920. He became a Koreshan believer, but as far as we know, never actually lived within the confines of the Unity, but rather, he lived on the Boomer property and eventually in Fort Myers proper.

Manley appears to have pushed the Unity toward reconciliation with Victoria, as did some others. In addition, he was active in introducing Hedwig Michel to the Unity and he attempted to convince German authorities to allow Peter Bender to come to the United States (which never happened). Bender died in an Austrian Concentration Camp.

This collection (AM-0179) consists of a number of various folders, each with a particular theme or correspondent. For example, as already mentioned, Manley had a number of letters from and to Victoria Gratia (Annie Ordway). They were not written by him or to him, so in many cases, their provenance is unknown. There are other allied records pertaining to Manley and to other correspondents of his. There are also some translated documents in this section from a group in Germany who did some extensive research on Peter Bender.

It should be pointed out that Bender as well as Manley had some different ideas. These included what some called Free Love, but we would probably refer to it not so much as that, but ideas on a more spiritual realm. In all honesty, their views are not completely clear. The H.W. Manley Collection is found, for the most part, in the Archives module, in AM-0179 (see above), AM-0180, AM-0181, AM-0186 and AM-0188. All of these records shed new light on the disagreements among Koreshans after the death of Dr. Teed as well as other ideas about life etc.

Check out upcoming events at the Park in the lower right column, or go there directly and see what’s happening as the “Season” gets underway once again.

Finally, it is worth noting that the construction on US-41 through Estero is finallycompleted after nearly 3 years of work.

Categories: Monthly Feature.

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