1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) online

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til large numbers of people were af-
fected, concentrating in assemblies
of from a few hundred to four or
five thousand each.

Both sexes and all ages were in-
cluded, but the devotees were most-
ly young people from six to twenty-
five years. Strange fits seized them
of trembling, staggering, beating
themselves with their own hands,
falling in a swoon, emerging there-
from with violent jerking of arms
and legs and contortions of the
body.

In their trances they beheld the
Heavens opened and the holy
angels therein, and also saw hell
and its denizens. They prophesied
the near end of the world and ve-
hemently denounced the priests, the
Church, and the Pope, and the
wickedness enveloping the entire
world.

We have little definite further ac-



Huguenots, in the peril that seem-
ed the inevitable consequence of
such insane and offensive crudity.

The Huguenots appealed to the
Bishops and were by them consti-
tuted a committee to confer and
plead with their deluded country-
men. A conference was held be-
tween the Huguenot deputies and
the "prophets," in which the depu-
ties were assailed with invective.
The deputies declared the new-com-
ers to be imposters and so reported
to the Bishops, who affirmed their
verdict

But, under the patronage of John
Lacy, Esq., they continued their
meetings in defiance of the Bis
hops, threatening the judgments of
God upon the Church, the city of
London, and the whole British na-
tion. The three leaders were ar-
rested, tried and sentenced as dis-
turbers of the peace to pay a fine
of twenty marks each and stand
upon a scaffold in a public place
with a placard upon their breasts*
describing their offence.

They persisted in their work and



count of these people until the year acquired a following of several



1705, when three of them, viz.,
Elias Marton, John Cavilier and
Durand Fage, went over into Eng-
land. Arriving at London they be-
gan a caustic denunciation of the
clergy and the established Church,
and their meetings were character-
ized by frenzied and ecstatic opera-
tions.

Awhile previously some of the
Huguenots, persecuted in their own
country, had fled into England, and
under the protection of the Bishop
of London organized a church of
their own. When the "prophets"
came over, with their violent dia-
tribes, the Huguenots feared, from
being Frenchmen, that the "pro-



hundred people. They claimed the
possession of the power of the
Apostles to heal the sick and raise
the dead. They attempted to res-
urrect a Dr. Eames but met with so^
ignominious a failure that ridicule
and contempt resulted.

In 1747 we find a remnant of the
sect, some of whom were Quakers,
led by James Wardley and his wife,
Jane. Up to this time they con-
tinued in marriage, the ceremony
conforming to the Quaker custom,
the bride and groom standing up
in meeting and promising constancy
to each other and were by the El-
ders declared to be man and wife,
but many of them in deference to



phets" would involve them, the public opinion were afterwards re-



THE ORIGIN OF THE SHAKERS



151



married by the Church of England.
Ann Lee, the founder of the
United Society of Shakers, was
born in Manchester, England, Feb-
ruary 28, 1736. Her father, John
John Lee, was a blacksmith, a poor
man, but industrious, and of good
character and respected by all who
knew him. His wife was also a
good and pious woman. They had



business. Still later she became a
cook in the Manchester Infirmary.
Possessing a winning manner and
pleasing loquacity, vivacious, social,
witty and .sarcastic she easily won
the confidence of all with whom
she came in contact.

Before attaining her eighteenth
\ ear she married Abraham Stanley,
her father's apprentice, and by him




Nicholas Briggs
As a Member of the Shaker Community at East Canterbury, N. H., about 1878-9.



eight children, three sons and five
daughters.

By reason of the poverty of the
parents, the children received no
education and Ann could neither
read nor write. In childhood she
worked in a cotton mill, and later
as a cutter of hatter's fur, evincing
unusual ability in the dispatch of



had four children, of whom three
died in infancy and the other in its
fifth year. The last child was born
through the Caesarian operation
and her consequent suffering and
the cruelty of her husband, who had
become a confirmed inebriate, fill-
ed her with hatred for married life,
and from this time forth she de-



152



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



nounced marriage as inhuman in
tendency and sinful in the sight of
God.

She came to believe herself led
by Divine revelation to devote her-
self to advocate the celibate life and
she engaged in the work with all
her capable assiduity and enthusi-
asm. She was now, after the death
of her mother, her father's house-
keeper. She became melancholy
and averse to conversation. Spent
much of her time in attending the
meetings of the various religious
sects and thus became acquainted
with the little band led by the
Wardleys, which had now received
the name of Shakers in derision of
their peculiar manner of worship.

Finding much in the faith of
these people congenial to her own,
she joined the Society after their
usual method by confessing her
sins. This was in September, 1758,
and Ann was in the 23rd year of
her age. She soon assumed a lead-
ing position in the little society by
her great activity and ability and
her zeal in advancing the interests
of the Society. Her consummate
tact and graciousness of manner
won the love and confidence of the
people and the leaders, admitting
her superior competence and believ-
ing her to be more greatly favored
of God, resigned in her favor and
conferred upon her the title of
Mother.

Very likely she at this time re-
sumed her own family name as we
have no evidence of her being call-
ed by the name of Stanley after
this. '

History now glides on to the
year 1771, when John Partington
of Mayortown and John Hocknell
of Cheshire joined the society and
by their wealth added prosperity
and respectability thereto. Hock-
nell's wife, Hannah, was at first
much opposed, but ultimately fol-
lowed her husband and brought in



several others. The Society now
numbered about one hundred.

Encouraged by their prosperity,
Ann now professed extraordinary
divine revelation, claimed the gift
of tongues, power to heal the sick
and to read the lives and innermost
thoughts of man. She declared
herself to be led in every thought
and deed, however trivial, by the
power of God and the Holy Ghost,
and that she was the one predicted
in the Revelations, and that through
her sufferings she had attained a
perfection equal to Jesus Christ,
and that she was co-partner with
Him. She said this was the eleventh
hour, and who so rejected her testi-
mony would like the unbelieving
Jews, perish in their sins.

She now introduced new gifts of
singing, dancing, shouting, shaking,
leaping, speaking in unknown
tongues and prophesying. She ve-
hemently testified against sin and
demanded its confession either to
herself or to Elders appointed by
her. Marriage was banished and
all sexual intercourse condemned as
impure and devilish.

The singular and extravagant
conduct of their meetings attracted
large crowds and became so notor-
ious that the Shakers were arrest-
ed for breaking the Sabbath and
jailed for one day, when all were
released except Ann and her father,
who were for a few weeks confined
in the House of Correction. About
this time Ann's half brother and
James Shepard joined the society.

In 1773 their numbers had been
reduced to about thirty. This
naturally was discouraging, and
Ann, hoping to infuse new life into
her little band, announced a new
gift of God for them, emigration to
America, predicting a great future
prosperity.

So poor were they that few were
able to go. Those who did find
means were Ann, her former hus-



THE ORIGIN OF THE SHAKERS



153



band, who it seems had been con-
verted, William Lee, her brother,
James Whittaker, John Hocknell,
James Shepard, Mary Partington
and Nancy Lee, niece of Ann.

James and Jane Wardley had
been residing - with a man named
Townley who was a member. He
seceded from the society and then
excluded the Wardleys from his
home, and they being quite aged
became unable to support them-
selves and ended their days in the
Almshouse.

The pilgrims sailed for America
May 19, 1774, arriving at New York
August 6th.

Ann with her husband stopped in
New York, the rest of the party
went to Albany and worked at their
several trades. Stanley worked at
his trade as blacksmith for a Mr.
Smith, and Ann engaged in house-
work in the same family.

In the .summer of 1775 Stanley
suffered a severe illness, during
which Ann nursed him with most
faithful care. This enforced idle-
ness reduced them to the utmost
poverty. After his recovery he re-
lapsed into hi.s former evil habits
and took another woman into the
house, .soon after marrying the
woman and thus forever sundering
his connection with Ann.

By advice of Quaker friends, John
Hocknell purchased some land in
Niskeyuna, now Watervliet, N. Y..
seven miles from Albany. He then
sailed for England to bring his
family over, returning December
25, 1775, with them, and also John
Partington and family. Some of the
land at Niskeyuna was now cleared
and houses built, and in September,
1776, Ann and part of the members
took up their abode there.

In the fall of 1779 a revival start-
ed at Canaan, N. Y., now New
Lebanon, under the leadership of
four women, Mrs. Hamblin, Mrs.
Kinnakin, Mrs. Mace and Mrs.
Dobkins, members of the church of



which Samuel Johnson was pastor.

This revival continued with in-
creased activity for several months
in New Lebanon and adjacent
towns. One of the members on a
business trip met with the Shakers
at Watervliet, was converted and
joined the Society. He began to
teach his new faith and his people
sent Calvin Harlow, Joseph Mea-
cham, Amos Hammond and Aaron
Kibbee as deputies to investigate
more completely. All of them were
converted and joined the Shakers,
confessing their sins.

Ann and her Elders soon visited
New Lebanon and made many
converts. Knowledge of the Shak-
ers was spread to some extent
throughout New England, and they
received many visits from persons
who went to see them from curi-
osity and not a few with the object
of ridicule, but instead of returning
to tell a merry tale received faith
and on their return home testified
to it, and the doctrine was thus dis-
seminated more or less in Massa-
chusetts, Connecticut and New
Hampshire.

In consequence of the war with
England, and the Shakers so re-
cently coming from there, sus-
picion was excited amongst the
sensitive people that these Shakers
were British emissaries and involv-
ed in some plot against the colonies.
David Darrow, driving some sheep
to Watervliet for the Shakers, was
arrested upon the charge of treason
and with Joseph Meacham and John
Hocknell was imprisoned at Albany
for five months. About the same
time Ann and seven others of the
Elders and leaders were arrested
and sent to New York to be deliver-
ed to the British, but for some rea-
son were stopped at Poughkeepsie
and there committed to prison un-
til December 20, 1780, when all were
released by order of Governor
Clinton.

On May 31, 1780, Ann with five



154



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



other leaders journeyed to Harvard,
Mass. There was and had been for
several years a sect in that town
whose belief corresponded closely
to that of the Shakers. Their lead-
er was Shadrach Ireland. They dis-
avowed marriage and lived with
their wives without sexual inter-
course. They were the chosen
people of God, with lives pure and
undefiled, expecting soon to reach
such perfection that they could
produce holy children, to people the
New Jerusalem and establish the
Millenium.

Shadrach put away his first wife
and took to himself a spiritual wife.

He asserted that he was Christ
in his second appearing and would
never .die, or if he did that in three
days he would arise again. He did
die, but failed to again arise, but
some of his followers believed he
meant three years, and they kept
his body in the cellar of his house
until the Shakers came and they or-
dered the body to be buried.

These people were ripe for con-
version and added to the Shakers
a society of considerable numbers.
The Elders returned to Watervliet
in July, 1773, having spent three
years in their itinerancy, visiting
clusters of the Shakers in Peters-
ham, Cheshire, Richmond, Han-
cock and Stockbridge, Mass., and
New Lebanon, N. Y. The total of
those who professed Shakerism now
reached nearly two thousand.

On July 21, 1784, the society suf-
fered a bereavement in the death of
William Lee. He stood next to
Ann in office and in the esteem of
the people. A more severe afflic-
tion followed on the following
September when their revered lead-
er, Ann, also passed away. She
died in extreme suffering which
was supposed to be occasioned by
the burden of soul which she as-
sumed as the mediator and Savior
of men, as co-partner with Jesus.

James Whittaker, by universal



approval, now assumed the leader-
ship, and the title of Father was
conferred upon him. The Shakers
experienced a decline in numbers
as a natural result of Ann's death,
but the superior ability of James
Whittaker soon replaced the de-
ficiency and swelled their numbers
to nearly three thousand. His
death occurred July 20, 1787 in the
37th year of his age.

His successor was Joseph Mea-
cham, who had been designated by
Mother Ann as the one to bring the
people into closer relations. Father
Joseph is credited with the concep-
tion and establishment of the pres-
ent organization that has made
possible the most interesting and
successful experiment in commun-
ism probably the world has ever
known, having endured for upwards
of one hundred and thirty years.

He began at New Lebanon, first
erecting a Meeting House, devoting
the upper part to the residence of
Meacham and Lucy Wright, his
chosen companion in office, and
others of the Elders. Others came
in as fast as houses could be built
to accomodate them. All con-
tributed their entire property and
gave themselves unreservedly into
the general service. They prepared
an oral covenant, binding them-
selves faithfully to each other.

Trouble with members who se-
ceded from the Society arose too
soon, and the Shakers found their
verbal agreement however solemnly
made was all too precarious for
their protection. Some of the se-
ceders demanded wages, and the
Shakers fearing adverse legal de-
cision, decided to pay from
$8 to $15 per year for every year of
their services. But withdrawals
became very frequent and the So-
ciety was very poor, so that it was
impossible to meet these demands
upon them, therefore upon consult-
ing the best legal advice possible,
a new covenant was drawn and



THE ORIGIN OF THE SHAKERS



155



written, and signed by every adult
member, relinquishing all right to
any compensation for services and
to any claim upon the Society
should they withdraw therefrom.

The next Society to organize was
that of Hancock or West Pittsfield,
and of course the one at Watervliet.
Then followed Tyringham, Har-
vard and Shirley, Mass., Canter-
bury and Enfield, N. H., Enfield,
Conn., Alfred and Gloucester, Me.
In 1826 a society was established at
Sodus Bay, N. Y. This situation
here was desired by the U. S. Gov-
ernment for military purposes, and
was seized by the law of eminent
domain, the society removing to
Groveland, N. Y.

In the year 1801 a revival of
great extent and singular power be-
gan in Kentucky or Ohio. In its
beginning it was as gentle as the
breathings of the Holy Spirit but
increasing in intensity it assumed
all the phases of fanaticism, the
devotees twisting, whirling, jump-
ing, rolling, stamping, falling, with



the gift of visions. Houses and
tents became greatly inadequate to
accomodate the vast assemblies of
people. The meetings at times
were attended by 5,000 or more
persons of both sexes and colors
and all ages.

The report of this affair induced
the Shakers to send missionaries
there, and by the direction of
Mother Lucy Wright, John Mea-
ham, Benjamin S. Young and Is-
sachar Bates left home January 1,
1893, and travelled afoot to Leba-
non, Ohio, arriving there March
1st. They were met by Malcolm
Norley and Richard McXemar, and
to the wealth and influence of these
men the Shakers owe the existence
of the Societies in these states.
The Shakers made ready converts
here from several Church Societies,
and Societies were organized at
Union Village, Watervliet, White-
water and North Union, Ohio,
Pleasant Hill and South Union,
Kentucky, and Busroe, Indiana.



I CLEANED MY HOUSE TODAY.

By K. C. Balderston.

I made my house quite clean today,

I thought that you might pass this way.

I killed the little flying things.

The miller moths with dusty wings, —

You would not like their flutterings.



I made the house all clean and sweet,
Swept out the tracks of dusty feet.
And then I gathered holly-hocks
And filled a bowl with lady-smocks;
I put them there to catch your eye,
And then — I saw you passing by.



AN ADVENTURESOME SAP GATHERING



By Alice Bartlett Stevens



The hill-side fields and pasture
slopes of a New Hampshire farm
lay covered with snow. White and
cheerless they stretched away on
every side of Joseph Hastings' little
group of farm buildings. The
low, wide spread, sunny-windowed
house, so snug and warm ; the huge
old deep-fronted barn, with its
length of roof and breadth of side
that bespoke well-filled mows and
bays for the farm folk which it
warmly sheltered, and the connect-
ing link of long, rambling wood-
shed.

Overhead, the tumbling masses
of gray, wind-driven clouds swept
low and chill. A mid-March sun
peeped palely out at intervals, only
to scurry back into cloud depths in
seeming dismay over the drear,
chilling prospect of all below.

Here and there could be seen pro-
jecting posts and the top rails of
fences and gates, which outlined ir-
regular shaped fields and orchards
and rocky slopes of distant pasture.
The trees, as if bewailing their
frozen state, flung out bare, frost-
stiffened branches, while scattering
groups of warmer clad evergreens
seemed sturdily defiant of wind
and rough weather. In a near
background, "Old Moosilauke" —
snow-capped and dark-mantled —
frowned shadowly down over all.

How frozenly asleep it all look-
ed ! Yet it was mid-March, ac-
cording to the almanac, and high
time for some hopeful sign of na-
ture in a warmer and merrier mood.
It was high time for the "back-
bone of winter to break," or to
show some sign of weakening.
But the only signs of life anywhere
about were those in the immediate
vicinity of house and dooryard ;
the wavering, wind-tossed curl of
smoke from the kitchen chimney;



the deep-trodden paths, leading
from house to barn, from barn to
the scattering out-buildings ; and
the longer, hoof-trodden, "fox and
goose" paths that led from the rear
of the barn down through the or-
chard to a spring beneath the hill.

II.

But once step inside that little
farmhouse, and all the drear, out-
of-doors was forgotten, for there,
in that old fashioned kitchen — the
living room of your farmer-folk —
all was radiating warmth and snug
coziness. The tea kettle was sing-
ing merrily over a fire that sparkled
and crackled and breathed such
warmth and comfort to the farther-
most corner of the big old kitchen
as to make of it the kindest, hap-
piest place on earth!

What cared they — the little fami-
ly gathered there within its walls —
for snow covered fields, cloudy
skies and driving winds without,
when all was so snug and warm
here within?

Not a care — so it seemed. For
there was grandmother in her deep-
cushioned chair over near a win-
dow, her knitting needles going
click — click, as a little red mitten
is fast taking shape under her swift
moving fingers. Mother, sitting
near another window, with a big
sewing basket on the light stand
beside her, is busily fitting a sleeve
into the waist of a blue and white
checked gingham dress, keeping a
watchful eye, as she sews, on the
two little girls curled up, Turk-
fashion, on the calico-covered,
home-made, roomy old lounge that
quite fills the space between the
two windows.

And they are busy, too, these
girls: Leila fashioning "doll-rags"
out of the scraps from mother's



AN ADVENTURESOME SAP GATHERING



157



work basket, while Alsie's scissors
fly in and out, snipping bright
colored pictures from magazines
and seed catalogs. Very busy girls,
as they sewed and snipped, looking
up every little while at their grand-
father — dozing in his rocking chair
near the kitchen stove, with lazy
old* Trudger, the rabbit hound,
stretched out full length on the
braided rug there beside him.

Pretty soon Grandpa finishes his
nap, gets up and puts on his fur
cap, his long blue woolen frock of
coarse home-spun, his warm wool-
en mittens and slowly makes his
way out to the waiting wood-pile —
the farmer's knitting work — to be-
gin his afternoon's work on the
small hill of saplings, cut down for
the fell purpose, so it appears, of
being cut up again — into lire wood.

Soon his axe begins to swing
right lustily.

As soon as they hear their grand-
father chopping, Leila and Alsie
slip down off the lounge, scatter-
ing bits of cloth and cut-out pic-
tures all around them, and run to
the window to stand there watch-
ing him. They love to "watch
Grandpa make the chips
there in the door yard.

Just at this moment,
something else
attention. It

snow — big, soft, feathery flakes that
soon make the air thick and white ;
real "sugar snow" that, in its frosty
way, tokens to New England folk
the first faint breath of spring.

"And see!" they exclaim, "why.
Grandpa looks just like a real,
honest-to-goodness snow man !" —
his cap and frock are so white.

But he pays not the slightest
heed to the storm, as up and down
goes his snow-man's arm, and chop
— chop goes his busy axe, sending
showers of chips to fall and lie cov-
ered — like little frosted cakes — al-
most as soon as they touch the
ground.



fly" out

though,
is attracting their
is beginning to



But Leila and Alsie are paying
the greatest heed to the swirls of
softly falling flakes, flitting hither
and yon :

"Just like little Fairies," they
declare.

Suddenly, they dart away from
the window, and begin to dance
around the room, for didn't these
"sky-feathers" mean to them the
close-at-hand, jolly, sugar making
season ?

Spring had, at last — to Leila and
Alsie, anyway— ARRIVED.

"Look," Alsie — look, look!" ex-
claimed Leila, "See the big flakes



come down — just see 'em



It's



sugar snow ! Goody — goody ! Let's
us put on our hoods, quick, — an'
run out where grandpa's choppin.'
Come — hurry !"

"An' we'll tell him," returned Al-
sie, thrilling with anticipation, and
trying, as she ran, to tie the
strings of her hood into a knot
that would stay tied (and they
"stayed," those knots, often to the
extent of a new string, when
mother's hands were otherwise em-
ployed, and Alsie's lacked the skill
and patience to untie them), "that
we must get the buckets down out
of the shed chamber right away ; —
right away, this very minute, an' —

"Yes," chimed in Leila, breath-
lessly, "an' that we're goin' to help ;
we'll climb up and hand the buckets
down to grandpa to carry for us
and lay on the big sled, just like
we always do, won't we — 'Twon't
take any time at all, will it?"

And away they sped as fast as
their little legs could carry them,
out to the wood pile, where their
grandfather was still whacking
away with " all his might and main"
at a particularly stubborn, knotty
log, just more than making the
chips fly.

"Oh! grandpa," they shouted,
with never a care for the rain of
chips, or the swift uplift of the axe,
as they ran straight up in front of



158



THE GRANITE MONTHLY



him, each hent on being the first
one to tell him what they had come
for. But before they could open
their lips to say another word, a
strong arm was flung out, and a
mittened hand pushed them back ;
in no gentle manner, either; angri-
ly, almost, for they had given him
a big scare — running right up under
his uplifted axe, like that.



Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 53) → online text (page 17 of 57)