The Shakers

Essay by Angelique_M May 2004

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

The Shakers, are members of the United Society of Believers in Christ's second appearing. They are one of many utopian farming communities of the early 1800's. The Shakers are more than a farming group, they were dedicated to a life of perfection. They invented many timesaving tools and machines, and created distinctive styles of architecture, furniture, and handicrafts.

The Shakers began in England. The Shaking Quakers were a small branch of radical English Quakers. They were known for their liveliness, shaking, shouting, dancing and singing in their religious rituals. While living in Manchester the shakers were persecuted for their actions in their early years.

Soon a woman by the name of Ann Lees came to the Shakers, and joined soon there after. The death of her four children, three which had died as infants, and the fourth had died as a toddler had much to do with Ann deciding to join.

Her past experiences with men had also strongly influenced her decision. After joining the Shakers Ann Lees became known as Ann Lee.

Ann had a strong belief in celibacy, which became the central nature of the Shakers. As time passed Ann became more and more outspoken, the meetings started to become livelier. The meetings were so extreme that Ann was sent to jail for profanement of the Sabbath. When she got out of jail Ann claimed to have visions of Christ. Ann and others of the Shakers believed that she was the second incarnation of Christ. Soon after this Ann Lee became known as Mother Ann. In 1774 Ann Lee along with nine of her followers moved to Niskeyuna, New York. In a few years it started to look up and Mother Ann finally started to recruit followers. In 1784 Mother Ann died. At the...