Shaker House - Mustard

mcstory

Hebron, United States

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The Second Great Awakening or Kentucky Revival began in the late 1700s and continued into the early 19th century. A revival was characterized by large camp meetings, where ministers from various Protestant groups would preach for long periods, with music and dancing often adding to the emotional pitch of the congregation. These religious gatherings sometimes drew thousands of observers and participants in the Ohio Valley of Kentucky. They were a form of community for people living scattered in relative isolation on the frontier the rest of the time.
The powerful interest in religion sweeping the region inspired the Shakers to broaden their ministry into Kentucky. Lucy Wright, the head of the Shakers’ parent Ministry at New Lebanon, New York, decided to send missionaries west.
On January 1, 1805, with eleven Shaker communities already established in New York and New England, three Shaker missionaries, John Meacham, Benjamin Seth Youngs (older brother of Isaac N. Youngs), and Issachar Bates, set out to find new converts. Traveling more than a thousand miles, most of the way on foot, they joined the pioneers then pouring into the western lands by way of Cumberland Gap and the Ohio River.
By August, they had gathered a small group of new adherents to the doctrine of Mother Ann Lee who believed in celibacy. Ann Lee was born February 29, 1736 in Manchester, England. She was a member of the Quaker sect called the Shaking Quakers. She ran afoul of the law and was imprisoned for trying to teach her sect’s beliefs. During her time in prison, she claimed to have a vision that she herself was the second coming of Christ. Upon her release in 1772, she founded a new religious sect, which came to be commonly known as the Shakers because of the adherents’ dancing and motions. She taught that God was a dual personage, male and female, instead of the masculine orientated traditional belief in an all male trinity. She interpreted the passage in Genesis that stated “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female, created he them,” to mean that both sexes were in God’s image therefore God was both male and female. She acknowledged that Jesus was the first coming of the messiah but believed the second coming had already occurred with herself, Ann Lee, based on her vision. Thus Shakers believed they were living in the last millennium and since all people shared a brother/sister relationship, they should not marry as there was no longer a need to procreate. Instead they believed people should live communally as a family of brothers and sisters. Couples joining the community lived separately, with their young children and foundlings raised in a nursery. Children could decide whether to remain in the community when they reached the age of majority. Many of those proselytes had earlier been influenced by the fervent Cane Ridge Revival.
In December 1806, forty-four converts of legal age signed a covenant agreeing to mutual support and the common ownership of property. They began living together on the 140 acres (57 ha) farm of Elisha Thomas, whose lands formed the nucleus of the Pleasant Hill Shaker village. Additional converts and property were quickly added, with the community occupying 4,369 acres (1,768 ha). By 1812 three communal families—East, Center, and West—had been formed, and a fourth, North, was established as a “gathering family” for prospective converts. On June 2, 1814, 128 Believers bound themselves together in a more formal covenant, which established the community in the pattern of the Shaker Ministry’s village at New Lebanon, New York.
Today, with 34 original 19th-century buildings and 2,800 acres (1100 hectares) of farmland, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, located in Harrodsburg, Ky, claims to be “the largest historic community of its kind in America.”
Wikipedia

Artwork Comments

  • lorilee
  • mcstory
  • lorilee
  • lorilee
  • mcstory
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