Mother Ann Lee

Madeline Kurtz

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Background

Born on February 29, 1736 in Manchester, England as the second of eight children. Her father was a blacksmith who could barely feed his family with the money he was getting. Ann worked in the mills and then moved to being a cook in the public infirmary and madhouse. The founder of the American Shaker Movement.
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The American Shaker Movement

Lee found the spiritual haven she had been looking for. Begun in England in 1749. Originally a minor religious group led by Jane and James Wardley until Ann Lee began the movement. Ann Lee was unofficially named Mother Ann Lee and become the sect's leader. Lee founded the first U.S. settlement of Quakers in 1774 in Albany, New York where she lived until she died.
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Beliefs of Shakers

The Shakers have 4 basic beliefs:


  1. Celibacy (they taught that sexual intercourse in the root of sin)
  2. Christian Communion
  3. Confession of Sin
  4. Separation from the World

The Shaker religion is influenced from pacifism, rejected ordained clergy and spirit led worship, and preached the importance of repentance since millennium was imminent. They believed in gender equality in that the wife was subject to her husband, but if she had no husband, she was equal to men in every way. Unlike Quakers, the Shaker community believed that the second coming of Christ was very near.

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Similarities to Quakers

The shakers kept many traditions from the Quaker religion. They began meetings with a period of silent meditation during which the "seeker" awaited the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They also relied on "inner light" for the revelation of spiritual truth.
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America's First Shaker Settlement (Video)

The following video discusses the settlement of the Shakers