by James Fang
In 1784, after Ann Lee's death, James Whittaker took over as Shaker Leader. He was the second Shaker to have been officially recognized as one to have the spiritual gift of revelation.
Joseph Meacham became the First Elder after James Whittaker died in 1787. Joseph Meacham was the first Shaker Leader to bring another person to share the role of leader of the Shakers. Lucy Wright, a female, became the First Elderess and together they headed the ministry. Together, they formed the beginnings of religious communism in the Shaker Community. Meacham later died in 1796, and Wright continued to lead the Shaker community until 1810.
Under the guidance of Wright, Shakerism expanded westward. To make Shakerism more appealing, Wright made the dances more lively, and eventually the Shaker religion reached as far out as Kentucky and Ohio.